big beat to blast:Main Street:
This is the final post in honour of the sister. If you've been keeping up you'd never know that it was my birthday too...
Course I've been quite spoiled over the past decade with a few awesome birthday celebrations so it's only fair that it was her turn. It just made me miss my friends. And miss them I do...terribly. But their love always shines through...and there are a handful of lovers whose birthday wishes I could set my clock to - like Aerie's heartwarming handcrafted card, Cracker's emoticon cuteness, Jimmy's Whatsapp-Facebook combo, and the BFF's card, always written in ALL CAPS. He recently celebrated his birthday too...we haven't celebrated together in years, owing to the fact we live on opposite ends of Earth. No really, we do. My bad, we were talking about the sister weren't we?
Well her too-legit-to-quit crew gathered at Campagnolo Roma for a set menu. Raulie, Leroy, Taro, the sister, yours truly and four others sat down for a family style meal. Two hours later you had to roll us all out.
I loved the pulse of the place - lively and vibrant with an open kitchen and a stealthy group of professionals working the front line. They were invisible when necessary and pleasant otherwise.
I'll give Campagnolo this - it's amazing value - so much food for just $35 a head. The most obvious criticism I had was the fact this place is not a carnivore's restaurant. There was a noticeable lack of meat. Even when it presented in a dish you could barely taste it. That's great for vegetarians, not so great for a caveman eater like me.
Midway through you start to notice everything muddles together. The pizzas tasted like the pastas and the pastas tasted like each other. There were no distinct flavour profiles and in the end, it wasn't a dynamic meal. That's when I realized this place is best for a one-off dish. I still enjoyed the dinner because it was well seasoned, well made and in celebration of the sister...even when I dislike her, I love her. If you have sisters...you know this story all too well. And we're back to the food...
The menu started with seasonal olives and a smörgåsbord of salads:
|garnish salad - vegetables and grainy mustard vinaigrette|
|autumn squash salad - squash with sage and ale dressing|
|New texture, different beat|
|a basil and sausage variety|
|bianca - my favourite - cauliflower, crispy provolone, and pickled onions|
|strozzapreti with cabbage|
|strozzapreti with pine nuts and mushrooms|
I don't want to see, smell or eat strozzapreti for a long time. There is such thing as too much of something.
Our sweet finale:
The food came out at a nice steady pace and we rolled out in smiles. Campagnolo Roma is hearty and homemade, and despite the subtle (or not so subtle) protests sprinkled above, it was still a happy ending.