Thursday, February 25, 2016

Atlanta Dining: Campagnolo

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A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends and I decided to head out for dinner after a school-related event. We were in the downtown area, and selected Campagnolo, an Italian-focused restaurant. When we walked in, we were greeted by a crowded bar and a pianist pounding out classic tunes (read: Billy Joel & Elton John). We wanted to be able to talk over our meal, and the music was a bit loud, so we asked to be seated in the back section. After settling into the cozy booth, we checked out the menu.

For drinks, we sampled a classic martini (no blue cheese stuffed olives), a cocktail, and wine. The drinks were wonderful, but I hate it when servers do not carry drinks on a tray - more than 2 drinks requires a tray! Unfortunately, the server spilled quite a bit of my martini before setting it in front of me, without even the slightest apology.

The appetizer was classic arancini, with a delicious balsamic reduction. My friends have not tried this delicious fried ball of risotto before, so I was happy to introduce them to it. They were cooked to perfection (not overly friend or greasy), and perfect to share. Though, I secretly wanted the whole plate for myself.
For entrees, we each sampled something different, which always makes it more fun! I had the lasagna, which the server told me is their number one seller. It was meaty, saucy, and cheesy. Three things every lasagna should be. I savored almost every bite, but had to bring some home for the boyfriend to try.

Brett had the mushroom risotto, which she loved. She said you could truly taste all the flavors of the dish, including a hint of acidity. This meal was enough for two, and she brought half home to enjoy the next day.
Katherine tried the gnocchi. While under-salted, some table-side doctoring fixed the plate right up. It was truly a beautiful presentation and Katherine said that the gnocchi was cooked flawlessly.

Amy spiced things up by opting for seafood. The scallops were served grilled, with potatoes, parsnip puree, and wild mushrooms. She felt she could have done with fewer potatoes and more veggies. The scallops, though, were meaty and not chewy - exactly how a scallop should be.

We could not resist dessert, and decided to sample two of the offerings. We quickly settled on the banana semifreddo (another new introduction to my friends) and the chocolate torte. The semifreddo was served with warm beignets, while the chocolate torte had mixed berry coulis (basically homemade syrup) and whipped cream. Both desserts were fantastic endings to a delicious meal.

Overall, Campagnolo was great. We loved the ambiance, though were a bit chilly at our table. The restaurant is in an old building, so it got a bit drafty near the big windows. The service was good, but a bit awkward at times. We will definitely be back to check it out again!