Monday, March 3, 2008

Reetsy Reviews: Campiello

We recently had a great meal at Campiello's during restaurant week.
When I saw they were offering a 3-course meal for $30, I decided it was time to finally make a reservation and dine there.

Campiello's menus change seasonally, to reflect a commitment to fresh ingredients.

Possibly my favorite part of Campiello's was the aroma of the dining room due to the open kitchen. The dining room is wide open, full of chatter and sparkling glasses of red wine. It smelled of wood fire and prosciutto. Very appetizing indeed.

The dining room was packed on that Friday night. We were sitting at the bar waiting for our table and some girl with a bad dye job kept giving me snotty looks because she didn't have a seat at the bar, or maybe she hated my purse...Bad behavior aside, our cocktails were tasty. I enjoyed a negroni martini - equal parts Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Bombay Gin, with a twist of Orange.

After we were seated at our tiny table, we were served a simple bowl of bread with butter. The bread had sesame seeds, which was a plus for gerg - a lover of sesame seeds.

For an appetizer we ordered butternut squash and taleggio crespelle with toasted hazelnuts. The taleggio paired with the sweet squash was brilliant. We both raised our eyebrows in delight.

We also enjoyed the wood-fired margherita pizza with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. Aside from being a typical wood-fired pizza, the crust was dusted with Parmesan, which was crispy and salty.

Gerg's entree was easily the best part of our meal: seven-hour roasted pork shoulder “porchetta style” with root vegetables. Seasoned perfectly and cooked until velvety, the pork shoulder was delicious. It literally melted it my mouth, and inspired me to try making it at home with pork shoulder from Pastures A' Plenty. Gerg paired the pork with a glass of Rocca Della Macie Chianti.

I ordered the fusulli with seared sea scallops, pesto, and cherry tomatoes. The flavor of my dish was on point. The scallops were seared nicely. The pesto was a little disappointing in that it was so well blended that it lacked texture. I prefer my pesto mixed in a more rustic manner, and this pesto was practically frappeed. The cherry tomatoes were a delightful burst of texture and flavor, but honestly, I was far more interested in gerg's pork shoulder than my pasta. For a side, I had to try the fire roasted brussels sprouts with cubed and seared pancetta... my conclusion: possibly every vegetable should be served with bits of seared pancetta. I paired my entree with a glass of Zardetto, Veneto NV prosecco.

Dessert was a treat when we finally received it 25 minutes after our dinner plates were removed from the table. We selected two: the vin santo creme brulee and the warm apple pecan cake with with hot brandy sauce. The apple pecan cake was served as a tart with the most exquisite buttery crust. It was ridiculous and awesome. The creme brulee was acceptable.

In addition to Campiello, D'Amico and Partners also run local restaurants Cafe and Bar Lurcat, D'Amico Cucina, D'Amico and Sons, and Masa. While it's clear that they have a commitment to excellent food preparation, civic engagement, and quality ingredients, I have not been able to ascertain their commitment level to using local foods or sustainable methods.

1320 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN

[where: Local Food, St. Paul, Twin Cities, Minnesota]

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