We've been happy diners at Campagnolo on Main Street so expected the same satisfaction at the Hastings St. location. Four of us enjoyed an early dinner at the newest bistro but results were mixed. Two glasses of house ale, two bellinis and four plates of salad greens (exotic organics) were the start. OK, except the tab was already over a hundred bucks, allowing for tax and gratuity.
This is from Alan Richman's GQ review of a New York diner, "The best dish of this meal was the massive, underpriced ($9) blue-cheese salad with monstrous chunks of cheese and hunks of candied walnuts as big and burnished as jeweled Fabergé eggs. At Campagnolo Roma, salad was a simple handful of greens dressed lightly with a vinaigrette, but $12.
My plate of cannelloni, pasta tubes with a stuffing of chard and fennel sausage, was served without heavy saucing and risked being too dry. But, no it was a taste delight, quite perfect but left me wanting more. The other mains were rigatoni with pork and tomato and two pizzas, all quite fine.
For dessert, two of us ordered a special, meringue with berry sauce. The meringue was uncooked and I would have preferred the texture contract of one that had been at least lightly baked. For me and another diner, the dessert was a disappointment but another person might prefer Campagnolo's style.
If eating at Nick's Spaghetti House on Commercial Drive is your style, Campagnolo Roma may not be perfect. The East Hastings spot had the feel of newness, not quite sorted out. At $15, the cannelloni was good value, at $12, the salad was not. Service could have been more involved; our server removed one plate of salad greens that had been barely touched but made no inquiry or comment.