Believe the hype. Da Angelo Ristorante on Hampden Rd in Battery Point offers delicious, no-nonsense Italian in a cosy atmosphere. It's a busy little place with a really welcoming vibe. Cute little paintings perch on its walls with a distinctly Southern Italian kinda vibe to them, and the soft carpet on its floors prevent it getting too loud.
Overall it was so inviting. I was alone and didn't feel awkward at all. The waitress was so attentive and friendly. I even asked her advice on what I should order and she gave me honesty. The other watiresses were friendly too. Da Angelo's is a place where you get real service. The mood is further created by the croony Italian music playing.
I ordered some tomato and herb pizza bread to start which was delicious. The base was crunchy and still soft in the centre, the flavour was good and the cheese on top gooey and delicious - although I did burn that bit behind my teeth on the roof of my mouth that I often burn when eating pizza because I was starving and it was too good to take my time with.
I followed up with an entree size of the Gnocchi Spinaci. It was lovely and the gnocchi is freshly made daily. The sauce was a gutsy and hearty tomato Napoletana. It tastes as home-made as the gnocchi did. The gnocchi was also somehow lighter than many other kinds I've had.
The entree size normally would have been plenty for me with the herb pizza bread I'd already had but it was one of those nights where I could just eat and eat so I got a dolce (dessert). There was tiramisu and cheesecake but my eyes caught on the heading Gelati. The first option was Gianduitto – Dutch chocolate gelato with a hazelnut & almond centre. I asked my lovely waitress whether this was just like gelati in a cup. Nope. It was like a ball of ice-cream coated in chocolate and nuts with hazelnut and almonds in its centre. It was served cut in half with a dollop of cream and a mint leaf. It was only small so I didn't feel uncomfortably full afterwards.
Da Angelo's is rated pretty highly on Trip Advisor, and after my visit I can see why. Great food, lovely service and atmosphere make it the kind of place where you can have dinner alone and not feel like you're actually alone.