The pandemic was tragic enough for the Iovino family of South Philadelphia. In March 2020, Franco and Angela Iovino had to shut down Angelina’s, their charming BYOB at Eighth and Clymer Streets, which they opened in 2017 after decades of running the splashier Girasole, first at 13th and Locust and then at Broad and Pine. Angelina’s dining room, a 30-seater with a minuscule galley kitchen right at the front door, would have accommodated two tables under the social-distancing regulations.
Not worth it, said daughter Michele.
Later in 2020, Angela took ill with cancer and she died May 19 at age 64.
Six months later, Franco, with Michele at the stove, is back at it.
Why? “This is all he knows,” Michele said.
“He feels he still has some energy and he’s too young to just retire, even though he’s in his 70s.”
They’re still calling it Angelina’s (though for legal reasons it’s Tavolino di Angelina), with a similar menu of full-flavored Southern Italian favorites. It’s BYOB, white tablecloth, no pretense.
You can taste Angela’s influence in signatures such as the fried eggplant, two beef carpaccios, the ossobuco, and veal chop Milanese (the priciest dish, at $33) and especially the pastas, notably pappardelle Bolognese. This is food made for sharing.
N.B. Franco’s brother Gino still runs the Girasole in Atlantic City.
Tavolino di Angelina, 743 S. Eighth St., Philadelphia, 215-660-9008. Cash only. BYOB. Menu is here. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.