Italian restaurant, Campagnolo offers The Chef’s Table Experience for tables with six or more diners. It is a family-style five course tasting menu that is unveiled at your table. As a result, I did not always catch what the server identified the dish as, so bear with me.
We started with the Fresh Burrata Cheese on roasted bread with roasted grapes. Eaten alone, the cheese was quite mild, but it improved in combination with the salty, oiled up bread. I have never considered warming up grapes, but it was surprisingly delicious.
Next came the White Radicchio and Frisée Salad with Cookstown beets, pumpkin seeds and Crotonese cheese. In appearance, it was rather monochrome, so I was surprised by the alternating fresh and sweet flavours.
Next came the Farinata Al Tonnato: Albacore tuna, pickled green tomato, Tagiasche olives and chili. The tuna was cooked in a way that I normally love, but it could have used some salt as it was rather bland. The dense cracker on the bottom soaked up the liquid and became like a soft digestive cookie.
The mushroom risotto was the first dish to blow my mind. It was possibly the best risotto that I have ever had: neither mushy nor heavy, but still creamy with fresh mushrooms that exerted their flavour in a complementary way.
Immediately after the risotto came the House-made Spaghetti All’Amatriciana, another dish that made my head explode. The dish contained two elements that make up my favourite type of pasta: al dente noodles in a slightly spicy sauce. It took all my self control not to eat up the entire shared dish.
Our first meat dish was the VG Farms Flat Iron Steak with eggplant romesco, fingerling potatoes and watercress. I could have done without the fingerling potatoes, which were overcooked, and just not up to the level of the amazing steak. Eaten in combination with the romesco sauce and the watercress was the perfect combination.
The final entrée dish was a salmon with Romanesco broccoli. I have an expectation of what salmon tastes like, and this dish blew that idea away. It was moist, and while recognizable as salmon, there were additional flavour profiles that I never expected.
For dessert, we received Salted Caramel Budino with chocolate meringue. My custard was not mixed entirely so the top portion was considerably sweeter than the bottom, which was much saltier. However, I did reach the bottom of the cup, because it was still good.
The appetizers were satisfactory, but the entrées are where Campagnolo really shines.
★ ★ ★ ★
Campagnolo, 832 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Dined October 2014 – Junggugeo Kaenada