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Angelina’s Leaves Brandon Boulevard, Reopens Next Door to River Hills

Angelina’s beckoned motorists on Brandon’s main thoroughfare for years. Losing its lease, it is now reopened in the small strip center between Lithia Springs Elementary School and the River Hills community in Valrico.

By D’Ann White

For Anthony Cimino, cooking isn't simply a job. It's a way of life.

Raised in a family that immigrated to the United States from Naples in the 1900s, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native began cooking under the tutelage of his grandfather at the age of 10.

"You always knew when it was Sunday in Brooklyn because you could smell the sauces cooking," said Cimino. "My grandfather was a great cook. He cooked authentic Neopolitan food, everything from scratch. He taught me the secret to making great sauces."

Cimino's professional career as a chef, however, began by accident.

"I got a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant, and the chef used to tell me, 'Hey, kid, can you take that food outta of the oven? Can you throw a little of this into the sauce for me?'" said Cimino. "Before I knew it, I was cooking."

He went on to become a chef in the VIP lounge at Pan-American Airlines at Kennedy Airport where he trained with some of the best chefs in the country.

In 2003, Cimino brought his Neopolitan cuisine to Brandon when he opened Angelina's Italian Restaurant at 111 E. Brandon Blvd. Over the past eight years, the restaurant had done a brisk eat-in and take-out trade and quickly became a favorite of Italian cooking aficionados with dishes such as Linguini al Frutti di Mare, a shellfish entrée prepared in the tradition of backstreet Napoli.

But when Cimino lost the lease on the Brandon Boulevard property, he was forced to seek a new location.

Fortunately, he didn't have to look far. Randy Raymond, owner of River Hills Plaza, previously approached Cimino about moving his restaurant to the plaza. And, with Flooring America recently leaving the plaza, there was prime storefront space available at 4351 Lynx Paw Trail for Angelina's to move into.

"We're very excited," said Cimino, who plans to open his restaurant for dinner this week and then open for both lunch and dinner the following week. "Angelina's will be bigger and better, and we'll be introducing some exciting new dishes."

Although he's hiring 35 new staff members, it will be Cimino himself doing most of the cooking.

"Yes, I'll be back in the kitchen," he said. "We'll have all of the traditional pasta dishes that people love."

He explained that Neopolitan cooking uses a thicker style of sauce made with pork and beef.

"It's more flavorful than traditional Italian sauces," he said.

Angelina's pizza lovers will still be able to order the thin- or thick-crust New York-style pizza made with fresh sauce and cheese that they've come to count on.

"In addition, we'll introduce some veal chop dishes and Black Angus steaks. You'll be able to get as good a steak here as you can get in the best restaurants in Tampa," said Cimino.

Patrons will have a choice of sitting in the newly renovated 3,500-square-foot restaurant, designed by Cimino, featuring a full 35-foot granite and porcelain-tile bar, or on the outdoor patio that's currently under construction and due to open in September. The patio will have an additional 25 tables.

Along with the 160-seat restaurant, Angelina's will offer a banquet room that can hold up to 70 guests.

The new Angelina's will feature entertainment on weekends.

Raymond and Cimino also are opening a gourmet New York-style deli at 4377 Lynx Paw Trail, featuring corned beef, pastrami, certified Black Angus beef and foot-long hotdogs in August.

"As before, everything on our menu will be available for takeout or for delivery through Mobile Meals," said Cimino.

Restaurant hours will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For information, call 813-684-9697.

 

 

For Anthony Cimino, cooking isn't simply a job. It's a way of life.

Raised in a family that immigrated to the United States from Naples in the 1900s, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native began cooking under the tutelage of his grandfather at the age of 10.

"You always knew when it was Sunday in Brooklyn because you could smell the sauces cooking," said Cimino. "My grandfather was a great cook. He cooked authentic Neopolitan food, everything from scratch. He taught me the secret to making great sauces."

Cimino's professional career as a chef, however, began by accident.

"I got a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant, and the chef used to tell me, 'Hey, kid, can you take that food outta of the oven? Can you throw a little of this into the sauce for me?'" said Cimino. "Before I knew it, I was cooking."

He went on to become a chef in the VIP lounge at Pan-American Airlines at Kennedy Airport where he trained with some of the best chefs in the country.

In 2003, Cimino brought his Neopolitan cuisine to Brandon when he opened Angelina's Italian Restaurant at 111 E. Brandon Blvd. Over the past eight years, the restaurant had done a brisk eat-in and take-out trade and quickly became a favorite of Italian cooking aficionados with dishes such as Linguini al Frutti di Mare, a shellfish entrée prepared in the tradition of backstreet Napoli.

But when Cimino lost the lease on the Brandon Boulevard property, he was forced to seek a new location.

Fortunately, he didn't have to look far. Randy Raymond, owner of River Hills Plaza, previously approached Cimino about moving his restaurant to the plaza. And, with Flooring America recently leaving the plaza, there was prime storefront space available at 4351 Lynx Paw Trail for Angelina's to move into.

"We're very excited," said Cimino, who plans to open his restaurant for dinner this week and then open for both lunch and dinner the following week. "Angelina's will be bigger and better, and we'll be introducing some exciting new dishes."

Although he's hiring 35 new staff members, it will be Cimino himself doing most of the cooking.

"Yes, I'll be back in the kitchen," he said. "We'll have all of the traditional pasta dishes that people love."

He explained that Neopolitan cooking uses a thicker style of sauce made with pork and beef.

"It's more flavorful than traditional Italian sauces," he said.

Angelina's pizza lovers will still be able to order the thin- or thick-crust New York-style pizza made with fresh sauce and cheese that they've come to count on.

"In addition, we'll introduce some veal chop dishes and Black Angus steaks. You'll be able to get as good a steak here as you can get in the best restaurants in Tampa," said Cimino.

Patrons will have a choice of sitting in the newly renovated 3,500-square-foot restaurant, designed by Cimino, featuring a full 35-foot granite and porcelain-tile bar, or on the outdoor patio that's currently under construction and due to open in September. The patio will have an additional 25 tables.

Along with the 160-seat restaurant, Angelina's will offer a banquet room that can hold up to 70 guests.

The new Angelina's will feature entertainment on weekends.

Raymond and Cimino also are opening a gourmet New York-style deli at 4377 Lynx Paw Trail, featuring corned beef, pastrami, certified Black Angus beef and foot-long hotdogs in August.

"As before, everything on our menu will be available for takeout or for delivery through Mobile Meals," said Cimino.

Restaurant hours will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For information, call 813-684-9697.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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