Following our Yaletown experience at Brix and Mortar, we continued our Dine Out Vancouver adventure on Main Street near the Pacific Central train station. Quietly nestled between the old Ivanhoe Hotel and a newer mixed-use condo development, Campagnolo Restaurant aspires to serve “affordable, rustic Italian dishes made with integrity, from seasonal ingredients in a warm and welcoming space.”
Along with its more modern-looking sister restaurant on Hastings Street, Campagnolo Roma, Campagnolo Restaurant on Main Street maintains a relatively short menu consisting mostly of pizza and pasta. I prefer the space at the Main Street location over Campagnolo Roma, as the decidedly wooden interior really does feel warm, welcoming and comfortable.
We had been here before for lunch with their regular menu, but this was our first time having dinner at Campagnolo.
Winter vegetables, croutons
The vegetables were very finely diced in this otherwise forgettable bowl of soup. The croutons felt like they had been swimming in the broth the entire time, so they had lost any semblance of a crunch at that point.
Butter Lettuce & Roasted Beet Salad
Goat cheese, classic vinaigrette
The other appetizer option on the $30 Dine Out Vancouver menu was this deceptively delightful salad. Even though it really doesn’t look like much, the salad was wonderfully light and perfectly dressed. I just wish they were a little more generous with the goat cheese.
Braised lamb collar, mint salsa verde, ricotta
For Susanne’s main, she opted for this hearty pasta dish. The unique strozapreti noodles offered a completely different texture than other pastas we had eaten while the tender chunks of lamb provided a healthy dose of umami. There just wasn’t enough of it.
This is one of those dishes where photos really don’t do it any justice. The risotto was fantastic with a very pronounced cheesy shellfish flavor throughout. The rice was wonderfully creamy while retaining the structure of the individual grains and every loving spoonful solidified this dish’s place as the best comfort food entry of the night.
Funghi Bianco Pizza
Mushrooms, roasted garlic, provolone picante, rosemary
One of our dinner companions opted against the Dine Out Vancouver selection and ordered this $17 pizza off the regular menu instead. If you like mushrooms and you like a crust that’s got a nice chew to it, this is a solid choice. The garlic is decidedly heavy-handed, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when considering this pizza.
Peanut Butter Mousse
The first of the two dessert options for the night, this “mousse” was definitely the much heavier choice of the pair. Each mouthful was like taking a bite out of a very decadent chocolate bar. It might work if that’s your thing; it’s just not mine.
Green Apple Milk Cake
The far lighter dessert came in the form of this milk cake. I really couldn’t taste the green apple, but the light and spongy cake along with the salted caramel drizzle and dollop of cream was a nice, albeit unspectacular end to my night.
Not unlike Ask for Luigi and Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria, Campagnolo Restaurant really does provide hearty and comforting fare at an affordable price. The ingredients are fresh, service is friendly, and the flavors are spot on. Since you can’t expect particularly large portions, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re arriving with a big appetite.
Dinner for two, including a glass of beer, tax and gratuity, came to a little over $80.