Dinner Out: Campagnolo

Dinner Out: Campagnolo

By Scott Campbell

A few years ago, while attending the Devour Food Film Festival, I had the good fortune to be seated at a table with a couple from Toronto. I guess I should have known that when you’re seated at a table in Troy – A taste of the Mediterranean in the Heart of Wolfville – and being served food created by Calgary’s chef superstar, Connie DeSousa, great things are going to happen.  The couple seated with us was Nancy and Larry Miotto and we have remained great friends and Devour attendees ever since. So, this year, when a trip to Toronto was planned, it was imperative that we connect with our Devour friends and meet up for a, Devour-esque, dinner. So after a couple of emails back and forth, Nany and Larry chose one of Toronto`s brightest Italian stars – Restaurant Campagnolo.

The restaurant is located on Dundas Street West and has been described as having a shabby-chic atmosphere with amazing Italian food. Roughly translated Campagnolo means “Country Bumpkin” but I certainly found the restaurant to be more chic than shabby. The large windows created a bright airy atmosphere inside and a bar that took up an entire wall was busy producing stylish cocktails for the eager dinner crowd.  After a round of Negronis (a bitter cocktail treat created with Campari – an Italian digestif) we were all set to delve into our meal.

Our appetizer was Burrata cheese drizzled with fresh extra virgin olive oil and served alongside roasted grapes and presented on a slice of delicious toasted Italian bread. This rustic Italian delicacy was prepared perfectly and was a welcome indication of the type of meal that was in store.

Next up were two incredible entrées – Corn Cappelletti and Spaghetti. The Corn Cappelletti was outstanding. Corn Cappelletti is another Italian favourite created with hazelnuts, Stracchino and corn. The sweetness of the corn and the creamy texture of the Stracchino (also known as crescenza – an Italian cows’ milk cheese) and the light taste combined with the distinct flavour of the hazelnuts created this spectacular flavour experience. The spaghetti was house made and served All’Amatriciana. This is another classic dish of Italy. It’s relatively simple in structure, but relies on a perfect pasta and a high-quality Guanciale (an Italian salt-cured pork jowl) to create the best version of this quintessential Italian favourite.

Our table shared a bottle of Chianti to pair with this sensational Italian dinner. We chose a 2014 Ama Chianti Classico. This well-loved Tuscan Chianti worked well with the sweetness of the corn and the spiciness of the spaghetti.
A meal like this needed to wrap up with a dessert that was capable of dazzling us as much as the preceding dishes had. The choice this evening was the Salted Caramel Budino with Chocolate Meringue. Budino is Italian for “pudding”. The creamy caramel sauce poured over the chunks of meringue in the pudding was almost beyond description. The salty sweet of the caramel and the velvety texture of the creamy pudding along the crunch of the meringue was a symphony of sweet, delectable dessert tastes.  If you ever have a chance…don’t even hesitate. Just order it.

Our evening with Nancy and Larry, our Devour compatriots, was so much fun. It reminded us of how amazing the Devour Food Film Festival is and how fortunate we are to have this world class event in our own back yard. Watch for screenings, dinners, pop-up parties and other exciting Devour events happening in Wolfville this Oct. 25-29. We hope to see you there.  Cheers.

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