Thursday, February 21, 2013


Finally! I finally understand why it is so difficult to get a reservation at Campagnolo. Okay, so the fact that the restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday may have something to do with it. It's not a huge deal, but still, a contributing factor. However, having named as Canada's Best New Restaurant in 2011 by enRoute Magazine and being Mcleans' pick as one of the 50 best restaurants in Canada last year is, by far and foremost, the biggest reason why snagging a table at Campagnolo is such a strenuous exercise. But hey, don't get me wrong, all the effort and patience was totally worth it. After my meal there, I realized that yes, although the accolades from critics and audiences alike is a big reason why getting a reservation at Campagnolo is so difficult, the real reason is because the food at Campagnolo is truly outstanding; it is chef and owner Craig Harding's talent that keeps bringing Torontonians back to his restaurant time and time again.

Located at the corner of Dundas and Euclid, Campagnolo (@Campagnolo_) is warm and cozy. A very romantic atomsophere, a great date night spot in my opinion.

The open kitchen at Campagnolo. Hopefully I'll get to sit at the chef's rail next time.

Rebel Yell, Orange, Peach, Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters, Burnt Orange Oil

Grilled Octopus with Chorizo and Patatas Bravas ($15)

Fresh Burrata Cheese with Roasted Grapes and Toasted Bread ($14)

Roasted Bone Marrow with Oxtail and Plum Marmalade ($13)

Roasted Sunchoke Agnolotti with Parsley Root Purée Hazelnuts and Brown Butter ($19)

Strozzapreti with Braised Lamb, Peas and Mint Pesto ($20)

Braised Beef Shortrib and Celeriac Purée, Glazed Radishes, Turnips and Beets ($28)

Cannoli ($8)

Budino ($8)

Drizzled with oil, the smooth and creamy burrata sat atop a warm toasted baguette, surrounded by sweet roasted grapes. All that may sound simple, but man, was it ever delicious. The roasted bone marrow with oxtail and plum marmalade was also stellar; the richness of the marrow was perfectly balanced by the sweetness / tartness of the plum and the savoury tender oxtail. All the entrees were excellent; the roasted sunchoke agnolotti and the braised lamb strozzapreti were standouts for me. The light and plump sunchoke agnolotti alongside creamy parsley root puree was amazing; it was light yet the entire dish was packed with flavour. We also loved the strozzapreti with its tender braised lamb served in a thick tomato sauce. As for dessert, I still can't get the salted caramel budino off my mind. The velvety pudding with a hint of salt really went well with the caramelized sugar, which was slightly bittersweet. The light and crunchy meringue on top was marvelous.

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