DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Friday The Thirteenth Of October, 2017. Our luck is good as we barely get a reservation in the nearly-full house that Tony Angello built. The Marys wanted to return to Rizzuto’s. Last (and first) time we were there, everybody went Italian, just as the lady who manages the dining room told us that while the red-sauced Sicilian-inspired Italian dishes were excellent, the steaks are what the place is really all about. We promised that we’d go the beef route next time.

And so we do. A big (16-oz.!) strip sirloin, medium rare, Pittsburgh-style seared, coming close to floating in a lagoon of herbal butter. It was everything I hoped for, including the price: $45. That’s a big number for an unaccompanied entree, but is an attractive buy in a USDA Prime, aged, big slab ‘o beef. All three of us agreed that it could stand with the big-name beef mongers’ work.

The rest of the meal was good, too. It began with a featured cocktail called “the Italian Job.” Mary Ann, who almost never drinks cocktails, found this delicious. Citrus and otherwise juicy, the Job was good enough that she also tried a second cocktail. This one was an experiment from the bartender, and includedf tropical juices of many kinds. They were too big to finish, but otherwise ideal.

The appetizers were robust, too. Mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat and nearly sizzling in butter. Enormous meatballs with marinara. This was today’s homage to Italy. Also on the table was ML’s favorite salad, a wedge with blue cheese. And creamed spinach with absurdly too much cheese, floating around in soft nubbins. It was the only dish we had that I would suggest re-thinking.

Dessert was pots de creme for the girls (they can’t resist that choco-custard dessert). For me, gelato stracciatella with small chunks of chocolate.

The price was $138.44 plus plus–less than I expected. I wasn’t trying to lowball. Everything on the table was food we loved. Of course, one can spend a lot more, particularly if you invest in the Wagyu beef in several cuts.

I almost hate to say this, but even people who were regulars of Tony Angello in his heyday will find Rizzuto’s an improvement over the good old days. Time does go on, doesn’t it?

Rizzuto’s. Lakeview: 6262 Fleur de Lis Dr. 504-300-1804.

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