Most recently, we enjoyed a terrific meal at Angelo’s aboard P&O Pacific Explorer, and for the coeliac sufferers, gluten allergic, or otherwise gluten intolerant; yes, you can have gluten-free pasta. Yes, you definitely can. No missing out for you at this Italian restaurant!
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How does Angelo’s work?
Angelo’s Italian is an ala carte style specialty restaurant. Unlike most specialty restaurants, Angelo’s is free, so there is no cover charge or price per dish except for two reasonably-priced premium options.
I love that P&O includes some complimentary specialty restaurants in their fares, like Angelo’s and Dragon Lady.
Angelo’s is only open for dinner meals, and while you can just turn up, bookings are recommended if you want to dine at a specific time.
I’ve often noted queues of people waiting for a table, so if you don’t book in advance, this could be you. Waiting is most likely at peak time from restaurant opening (usually 6:30 or 7 pm) until about 8:30 pm.
So, book in advance if you can. You can book over the phone by calling the specialty restaurants number, or, you can see the restaurant staff at various times during the day (times vary).
Should you choose to go with one of the premium dishes, shown on the menu as ”indulgere”, it will simply be charged to your stateroom account. The same goes for any drinks you purchase. Otherwise, there is nothing else to pay.
Angelo’s offers an ala carte dining experience, based around a three-course meal and sides.
As your waiter welcomes you to your table, they will bring you some breadsticks, and you can, of course, order drinks if you wish.
Then, once you are ready, your waiter will take your order.
So, let’s indulge with some photos of some of the different choices available on the menu.
The starters! Primi is your entree or first course, and the dishes available are quite appealing, in my opinion, with choices that will suit most taste buds.
For the coeliac travellers and otherwise gluten-averse diners, none of the primi options are labelled as gluten-free or gluten-free on request. That said, many of the dishes can be made without their glutenous ingredients. Just make sure to ask your waiter!
Cavolfiore Arrosto con Uvetta e Salsa Romesco
I, personally, am a big pin of the ”Cavolfiore Arrosto con Uvetta e Salsa Romesco”. Essentially, roasted cauliflower with a romesco sauce! I love roasted cauliflower, and this sauce has so much flavour in it!
Zupa di Patate
Angelo’s ”Zupa di Patate”. Or potato soup is one of the dishes that can be made gluten-free even though it doesn’t indicate as such.
Ok, it’s soup. What more can I say? It is a bowl of tasty potato soup with more depth than I expected. Normally, it does have bacon as well, but we got it baconless as well as glutenless.
Secondi is your second course or main meal. As I mentioned earlier, Angelo’s is included in your cruise fare on P&O Cruises, so there is no need to pay any extra for your meal.
However, if you wish to pay more, let no one stop you! You can dig into one of the “Indulgere” dishes for an extra charge.
The choices available in the ”Indulgere” range are not my thing, but the pricing is very reasonable in my opinion. Especially when you compare the AUD pricing of Angelo’s on P&O to the USD pricing of premium dishes in specialty restaurants on other cruise lines that also have a cover charge, like Giovanni’s, Parrilla de chuletas o Samba Grill en Caribe Real.
However, I digress! Let’s get back to the main menu at Angelo’s Italian on P&O.
Cappellacci di Zucca Arrosto
The ”Cappellacci di Zucca Arrosto” is cappellacci style pasta stuffed with pumpkin and tossed in burnt sage butter with pine nuts. Don’t know what cappellacci is? Neither did I!
It turns out that cappellacci is a style of pasta that is stuffed with some kind of filling and folded into shapes that resemble little hats.
If you look closely, they kind of do look like little hats, don’t they?
Now you know!
Vitello Ossobucco Gremolata
Angelo’s ”Vitello Ossobucco Gremolata” is slow-cooked veal osso bucco gremolata with pumpkin mash and buttered green beans.
That’s a few more words I don’t know. I understood the slow-cooked veal with pumpkin mash and beans part but the rest went over my head.
So, for those interested in expanding their Italian vocabulary and food knowledge further:
- Osso bucco is an Italian dish made from veal shins with the marrow, stewed in wine. It quite literally translates to ”bone veal”.
- Gremolata is a garnish made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. I’m not entirely sure that’s what we see on our dish, but the dried onion garnish is delicious nevertheless!
Right, moving on!
Risotto al Funghi con Ricotta e Spinaci
Our next secondi from Angelo’s is a little more familiar. ”Risotto al Funghi con Ricotta e Spinaci”. Mushroom risotto with ricotta cheese, parmesan and wilted spinach. A classic that wins every time. Melty, cheesy, yummy, shroomy risotto.
I try to avoid cheesy food these days, but, it’s just so tasty!
This tempting mushroom-infused risotto is also one of two dishes on the menu that is labelled as gluten-free all the time, not just on request.
If you can tear yourself away from that evil risotto, we shall continue.
Filetto di Merluzzo Spadellato
There is something fishy about Angelo’s ”Filetto di Merluzzo Spadellato”. This dish is a pan-seared cod fillet with potato puree, mushrooms, roast zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
Not bad at all, and the second gluten-free choice that is always available.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. WHERE’S THE PASTA?!?! And what kind if Italian restaurant would it be if there was no pasta dish on the menu?
Well, the menu does have penne and spaghetti on it as well as lasagne. The penne is the only option available as gluten-free on request.
I can’t speak for the pasta dishes that are actually on the menu since we didn’t try them, but I can say they are probably delicious!
Custom-Made Gluten-Free Spaghetti
You see, we got a custom-made, gluten-free chicken spaghetti tossed in a white sauce, and it was exceptional.
The gluten-free spaghetti used onboard P&O ships is quite good. I did notice that it does stick together a bit, but it’s definitely one of the better gluten-free spaghetti’s I’ve tried.
- Note 1: Gluten-free on request dishes tend to take longer to prepare in their GF form, so, you may have a slightly longer wait for your meal.
- Note 2: Order in advance if you need something that isn’t catered for on the menu.
- Note 3: Allow an extra 20-30 mins wait for your food if you have a custom order.
The serving sizes for primi and secondi are quite reasonable, but if you think you might need a little more, you can also pick from a small selection of side dishes, the contorni.
Insalata di Radicchio con Gorgonzola Pere e Noci
Angelo’s ”Insalata di Radicchio con Gorgonzola Pere e Noci”. Also known as radicchio leaves with blue cheese, grilled pear and candied walnuts. That’s my kind of salad! Yum!
Verdure al Vapore con Olio e Limone
The ”Verdure al Vapore con Olio e Limone” is steamed vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and lemon dressing. Not bad.
Lastly, dulce, the sweets, my favourite. 🙂
For the gluten-tolerant, Angelo’ serves a tempting array of choices from a dessert trolley.
- Panna Cotta
- Custard Torte
- Pistachio Cannelloni
*Cough* Or all of the above. *Cough*
Don’t look at me!
The cannelloni is a bit disappointing, but the tiramisu is excellent. I really enjoyed it, and the torte surprised me as well!
For the less gluten-capable, the choice could be described as non-existent. You don’t like sweets when you can’t have gluten, do you?
Fortunately, if you do like desserts and require them to be gluten-free, so your villi don’t get murdered by your white blood cells, you know, kind of important, your waiter will make sure there is something for you!
Not shown on the trolley of delightful desserts is the delectable dark chocolate gelato, and yes, it is gluten-free. It’s also dark. Very dark. Possibly better than everything on the trolley as long as you like dark chocolate and gelato.
Our waiter also sourced a gluten-free panna cotta for us which went down a treat.
Tips for Coeliac and Gluten-Free Travellers
Always ask. Just because something on the menu doesn’t say it is gluten-free doesn’t mean it can’t be made for you. However, be aware that it may take a little bit longer.
When you reserve your table at Angelo’s, let them know that you need a gluten-free meal (the same is also true for any other special dietary needs). You can pre-order your preferred dish at the time of booking, and depending on how far out your booking is, you can order things that aren’t on the menu.
We reserved our table the day before and had one of our main dishes, the spaghetti, made up custom. We just let them know we would like a spaghetti or fettuccine dish with chicken and a white sauce. The chefs did the rest!
Dessert is probably the hardest as all of the standard desserts have gluten in them and the default option that is offered as gluten-free is a cheese and fruit plate. However, their special dark chocolate gelato is gluten-free, and they can do a gluten-free panna cotta for you as well. If you ask, there just might be more they can whip up for you!
What about you?
Have you eaten at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant on P&O? What did you like the best? And is there anything you didn’t like? Let me know in the comments below!
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