On a recent Friday night, the patio at Delray’s Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar & Tapas buzzed with patrons drinking vino and sharing tapas and pizzas out of the wood-fire oven.
The restaurant is a more casual concept to its older, more sophisticated sister brand, Casa D’Angelo.
Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar & Tapas has four locations including the Delray one on Jog Road.
Restaurateur Angelo Elia said the concept is all about serving high-quality food in a more casual setting.
When he created the brand, it was to give his Casa D’Angelo patrons a place to have dinner out that wasn’t as fancy but with the same quality of ingredients.
He opened the first Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar & Tapas in Fort Lauderdale during the recession as an affordable option for dining out.
“My guests loved it,” he said, so he opened more locations. There are Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar & Tapas in Weston and Coral Springs.
He said his inspiration to open in Delray Beach was because so many guests from the area frequent the Casa D’Angelo location in Boca Raton.
“It is a place you can go to every day and have a quick lunch or quick dinner and go home,” he said.
Elia has been in the restaurant business since he was a teenager. His first job was in a restaurant in New York when he was 14.
He worked as dishwasher and then worked his way up to become a chef. He has been in business in South Florida for over 20 years.
He and his wife, Denise, are involved in the day-to-day operation of all of their locations. The most recent endeavor was the opening of a Casa D’Angelo in Aventura.
In addition to the tapas and pizza brand he also has a bakery bar and a Casa D’Angelo location in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort.
At Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar & Tapas, the pizza is on display. Guests can grab a seat and watch their pizza cook at the pizza bar.
Elia said the pizza is Neapolitan-style that is crispy with a soft edge. A majority of items are imported from Italy starting with the olive oil on the table, which is made in-house with a bit of heat.
Tapas are meant to be shared and include veal or chicken meatballs, beef carpaccio, caprese, Italian sausage, octopus and more. Entrees featured are classics like chicken parmigiana, veal Milanese and linguini vongole. There are also a wide selection of pizzas, salads, soups, calzones, paninis and of course wine and cocktails.