Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Steph had been raving about Campagnolo for ages and we'd been meaning to go there together for a while now, but couldn't seem to get reservations on the days we wanted to go (apparently, they are always busy so the chances of getting a table without reservations are slim to none). But we made reservations on Sunday and were finally able to go there for dinner tonight:

Fresh Burrata Cheese with Roasted Grapes and Toasted Bread

Roasted Bone Marrow with Oxtail Marmalade and Plums

We decided to start with two appetizers — the first, of course, being the burrata cheese that Campagnolo is lauded for. The cheese is light and mild and beautifully silky, but also somehow soft and creamy... it's what dairy dreams are made of. Rested atop garlic-kissed toast and drizzled with olive oil, you almost don't want to share it (but you should, since there are so many delightful things to try here). Lovely plump, slightly tart roasted grapes provide the perfect textural and flavour contrast, and make for a fantastic palate cleanser for more deliciousness to come. The second appetizer we decided to try was the roasted bone marrow, a plate of pure decadence: rich, silky marrow topped with a most addictive mixture of savoury, smoky oxtail and sweet-tart plums. Toasted baguette slices are provided as a means of eating the marrow, but you could just as easily use a spoon and just scoop it right into your mouth if you should feel so inclined. Sharing is recommended here, as it's incredibly rich (not to mention that it's probably a bajillion calories and fat grams).

Potato Gnocchi Pomodoro with Arugula Pesto

Pappardelle with Braised Rabbit and Hedgehog Chanterelles

We also ordered two entrées to share, both pasta dishes. The portions aren't big here, but looks are deceiving because they pack a punch. The first dish was the housemade potato gnocchi, which turned out to be the best gnocchi I've ever had in my life: soft, plush pillows of light, fluffy potato coated in a smooth, tangy pomodoro sauce and savoury arugula pesto and topped with crispy fried basil leaves. Simple, fresh, and ridiculously addictive. The second pasta dish was the pappardelle; fresh ribbons of homemade pasta cooked perfectly al dente with generous chunks of tender braised rabbit meat and crisp chanterelle mushrooms, coated in a light, buttery sauce. Rich, flavourful, and beautifully balanced. Absolutely glorious. If you're debating what you get for dinner here, you really can't go wrong with the pasta dishes — they have perfected them, and this is where they truly shine.

Salted Caramel Budino

Finally, for dessert, we ordered the infamous salted caramel budino. Light, crunchy chocolate meringue pieces in a perfectly whipped bittersweet chocolate pudding with a hint of espresso, and drizzled with creamy salted caramel sauce. A gorgeous combination of textures and flavours that is extremely addictive and thankfully not too sweet — the perfect ending to a truly fantastic Italian meal. The restaurant itself is small and cozy, comforting and sleek at the same time, sort of rustic chic so that you can just as easily dress up as you can dress down to go there. Our waiter was nice and welcoming, attentive but not cloying, laidback but very considerate. Was it worth the hype? Absolutely. Did it live up to the high expectations I had through Steph's constant raves? Definitely. I had a seriously good time tonight, and I can see why it's one of the 50 best restaurants in Canada. I can't wait to go back.

832 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1V3
(416) 364-4785
4 comments on "Campagnolo"
  1. Yay! I was scared to read this because I did not know if it would be a good review. So happy you enjoyed it!

    1. Haha, I told you I liked it while we were there! And then again when we left! WHEN ARE WE GOING BACK? :D


    1. It was INSANELY good! Have you been to Campagnolo? Just thinking about the food is making me drool. The burrata cheese is to die for. :)


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