Campagnolo offers affordable, causal Italian on Main Street in Chinatown. Now open for weekend brunch.
I have had both lunch and dinner here now and this is the experience:
Great friendly service and nice laid back atmosphere.
First visit-lunch-I had pizza and my dinign companion had risotto. The pizza was very good and the risotti was excellent (cauliflower)
Second visit- dinner- I had the days feature risotto-disappointing in a big way. Compared to the house cauliflower risotto it was downright blah. My dining companion had the pizza-again very good. We both ordered dessert and both desserts were not good-we would go again for the pizza but skip the dessert. I might consider having the feature cauliflower risotti again but not sure.
So, it is a nice neighbourhood feeling place to enjoy a meal with friends or family but-our dinner of risotto, pizza, two desserts and one coffee and one glass of winr $75 and we only enjoyed the pizza, wine and coffee :-)
I guess we will be back but they need to take the blah out of some dishes.
I was at Campagnolo the other night for a friend's birthday dinner. Never heard much about it but was pleasantly surprised when I walk in. It isn't in the nicest part of town but the interior is tastyfully decorated and well thought out.
The food itself was okay, the spaghetti noodles was fresh and tasty but the portion was pretty small. We also had a pizza and again it was tasty, but small portions. Good thing we had the chorizo sausage as the appetizer as well.
This is the kind of place where you enjoy your experience, but it isn't particularly memorable and you wouldn't really go out of your way just to come back here.
Stopped in for dinner with my wife on a recomendation from a server at another resturant. We were met promptly and pleasantly and shown to our table. The room was warm, interesting and about 3/4 full. We skipped the appies and went for two mains, the Thursday night special Lasagna, & Mussels Rissoto. When the special is ordered you can purchase a glass of featured red wine for $6.95, however if the special is not ordered the same glass costs $9.25??? We both had a glass and although I didn't measure it I would swear it was about 2.5 -3 oz. Didn't make note of the wine, however it was in the quality level of an Itallian blend that would sell for $12.00 per ltr in a liquor store. This was a total rip-off, it wasn't the price, just the fact that the glass was so short poured. I recomend they get the little carafe's that other establishments use which makes the qty consistant, and fair. Our dinner arrived in record time, about 15 min. The rissoto was closer to soup than risotto was bland and devoid of texture. The loosness of the dish can be overlooked a bit as there is more than one opinion on how wet a rissoto should be, but to be mushy and bland is just bad prep. If there is a chef in the back he/she should be cut loose. If Belcham had anything to do with his/her training, he should be ashamed. The Lasagna was dry, pasty, and lacked flavor. I mean come on guys, this is your "feature". Bottom line for this one is we won't remotly consider another visit. If an Itallian resturant can't make a decent lasagna or risotto, its time to throw in the tongs. My prediction is this resturant will be gone in less than 12 months.
Had a totally mediocre experience here last night. The server was unkempt (big hair that he constantly had his fingers in coupled with a waft of B.O.) and surprisingly unprofessional and unenthusiastic. From the get-go he treated our table as if we were a huge burden, just waiting for this night to be over, and as if he was anticipating a super low tip. He was so apathetic about every aspect of his 'service' to us - he was just terrible.
Sometimes a server with this kind of attitude can be compensated for by fantastic food, but not in this case. The portions were teeny-tiny, the pizza crust was terribly chewy-doughy, and the Salumi Platter was not served with crostini. We had to ask for it, and obviously wait for it to arrive.
The best thing about the dinner was the decor, the restaurant is beautiful, and the space has a great vibe and feel to it. The unisex toilets were both dirty (and unflushed) and placed beside the kitchen. Felt unsanitary. I cannot recommend this place, and even if I was given a gift card for this restaurant, I would not go back. Really disappointed.
I've been to Campagnolo 3 times now and have been ripped off for wine each time. The half litres of wine they serve are half bottles instead - at half litre prices. You are paying for 500 ml of wine but you are actually getting close to 375 ml. The first two times this happened, I noticed the half liter I ordered looked small. The third time I decided to measure the wine to be sure. I ordered a pint of water (with the 500 ml mark on the top), drank it, then poured the wine in the glass to measure. As I suspected, the 'half liter' I had ordered was in fact a half bottle, so I was being ripped off by 125 ml. NOT happy about that. I told the waitress about this but she just shrugged it off. I filled out a comment card when I left and wrote that I was 'on to them' so I hope that they've stopped this dishonest and disappointing (and probably illegal) practice. That really just leaves a foul taste in my mouth about the whole experience.
Wine aside, the homemade breadsticks are outstanding, as is their signature starter of fried chick peas. The pizzas are tasty but sadly lacking toppings - nearly bare. The salamis they carry are delicious but absurdly overpriced - $22 for a selection of three kinds of absolutely miniscule porportions.
Friends had been urging us to try Belcham's Italian spot for some time and we were anticipating a great meal. All six of us were underwhelmed. Put simply, the food is pretentious and portions ridiculously small for the price. The pizza was terrible-- stodgy and barren-- and the pork served almost unbearably rare. We wanted to discuss our issues with our server but she was rushed and inattentive. Instead we opted for a quick exit. It took more than 20 minutes for us to get the check. Suggest you give Campagnolo a miss unless you are the sort of diner who equates small portions artfully draped on the plate with superlative cuisine.
I will rate our visit to Campagnolo as decent. The whole experience started out well enough; full restaurant, vibrant ambiance and friendly hostess. The apertif and the antipasti (bean and smoked sausage soup) at the bar were authentic Italian, tasty and good value. The bartender's attention was prompt and entertaining without being intrusive.
For the primi and we were granted a table. Suddenly the experience changed and the sensation was that of have entered a new restaurant. The serving staff was nowhere to be seen for the first ten minutes, as they appeared it was evident that they were well trained and congenial, however simpky had too many tables to attend to and hence the dining experience was lowered.
The primi - risotto - was slightly too al dente and very bland, except for a zesty sting of lemon. Secondi - chicken and pork - were decent, with gentle flavours and fine texture, yet this was poorly complemented with a very bland and watery polenta. The inconsistency of the dishes was further highlighted by the fact that they arrived very slowly (you could argue that this is as per Italian fashion). The service continued to be friendly and apologetic, credit should be due to the fact that they did credit the polenta on the bill.
Conclusion: I would return for a drink to kick off a good night out, but no more dinner here!
I don't have much to add to what others have already said about the value and quality of Campagnolo. Let's just say I was there recently and will be a repeat customer for years to come.
A quick note to DOGETT: if you feel ripped-off for your $58 meal because it wasn't portioned to your liking, may I suggest establishments like Anton's, Anducci's ....... or The Olde Spaghetti Factory. Campagnolo isn't about quantity over quality. If that's what you expect you have totally missed their point and the modern "retro" genre of quality dining that we are so lucky to have in Vancouver.
Thanks for leaving more available table space for me in the future ;-)
Have came here once before when it was the old Portuguese place, and live near by so really wanted to see what this place was like. Have never been to their other restaurant, so didn't really know what to expect.
It didn't matter that I couldn't understand what the menu said, because the server in the back wine bar section did all the work for us. I brought a guest visiting from out of town, and I ended up glad we decided not to wait in the pouring rain outside of Foundation for a seat....
The wine recommendations he gave us were perfect! Loved the wine! The octopus salad and tuna with white beans were unexpectedly delicious, and the serving sizes were perfect... especially when you want to try a few things on the menu, plus wine and dessert without being stuffed.
The pizza was decent... I prefer more sauce, so it was a little dry for me, but the steak was fantastic and again, the wines were delicious.
The room itself is very basic, and if you are looking to have a private conversation, this probably wont happen, but it didn't bother me. I would have to say though, I recieved * hands down* some of the best service I've had in Vancouver. As a former server myself, I pick up alot of things, and this guy, not sure his name, was awesome!
The design of this restaurant is really impressive. Service was solid, she was knowledgeable about the menu items when asked and gave appropriate wine recommendations. Shared 3 appies among the 3 of us: the chickpeas, the pate, and ribs which were a special that night. They were all really nicely done, pate was very fresh and well seasoned but portions were on the smaller side.
We decided to share a pizza among us since we weren't overly hungry. Got the mushroom and pancetta one. My first impression was 'i think they forgot the toppings!'.. literally 4 or 5 mushroom pieces, and a tablespoon worth of pancetta crumbles. Was disappointing to say the least.
Would be back for the appies and to try the entrees
Well, the restaurant looks like you're somewhere else and not across from the Ivanhoe, so that's good. The entrance is a weird bamboo tunnel thing which didn't seem to jive with the rest of the decor. The room is warm in ambience, though I thought the table set up was a bit cafeteria-ish. We were seated promptly. Our server always seemed like she was in a hurry as though she was anticipating a rush that never came. We ordered the deepfried chickpeas - they were tasty, but exactly what I expected - deepfried spiced chickpeas. We also ordered a tuna salad which was pleasant. We had the flank steak and chicken. Don't forget too order sides, or you will receive meat on a plate with salsa verde and that's it. The flank steak was okay. The chicken was cooked in duck fat and accompanied with house sausage. It was a salty fatty, artery clogging dinner. But everything in moderation, right? The music was all over the place - James Blunt, Tom Jones, Thievery Corp, Beatles. I poked my head down the hallway to look at the "wine room" - I thought I was confused because it looked more like a staff meal table. Don't get me wrong, everything tasted nice. I think it caters more to people who live breathe and eat charcuterie, duck fat, etc. I think I've got to eat cleaner and lighter for my next night out.
The charcuterie at Campagnolo is in a league of its own - presented simply and incredibly delicious. The coppa di testa was especially memorable. Outstanding!
The agnolotti was delicate and cooked perfect but a few more portions would have made it feel like a truly excellent value.
My chicken was deboned and its crispy skin laid like a blanket over a bed of sausage and sweet red peppers. Amazing and comforting.
Service was unfortunately very poor: our server was cold and apparently wishing she was elsewhere, all of our attempts to ask her about the food were met with three-word blunt replies and then a quick escape back into the kitchen.
Italian food can get away with being simple and rustic, Campagnolo takes these two qualities and pairs them with perfectly prepared food. Worthy of a few visits!
First impression was the minimalist room. We were certainly not dressed for fine dining and felt totally comfortable. We wanted to keep an eye onthe hockey game so we took a table in the back room. There we had a great view of the alley and a big blue dumpster. Whatever. No big deal.
We asked our waiter what he recommended. He was pleasant and knowledgable. Actually he was pretty fabulous. We started with some albacore tuna and an order of chic-pea salad. The tuna was decent. I enjoyed the endive and onions. The chic-pea salad was lovely. It had a nice, light smokiness, cut by some mint I think. Nice.
There is a good, reasonably priced wine list. I was so excited to find an affordable Barbaresco that I didn't even think about pairing the food and the wine. I love what Italians do with the Nebbiolo grape in Piedmont. Tasty.
Next up we had a pasta and some polenta. The polenta was delicious if not heavenly. The pasta was underwhelming and very small. I don't even remember which one we ate. I guess to be fair it was in the spirit of the restaurant. Minimal. Maybe I've never had true Italian pasta before. I just expected a little more of a "wow" factor. I wasn't bad, just not amazing.
Like I said. The server was great. The food and wine were good. The ambiance was OK. Maybe I'll go back in a few months and try some other menu items. Maybe not.
Always thought there may be something to this place, after seeing it full many times on a drive by. However, decided to try it during dine-out and was sorely disappointed. Wanted a table for three, and were sent upstairs to the "wine lounge" for an hour and a half wait. Tables came and went but they were obviously unwilling to seat a waiting table of three when they could get a table of four who just walked in the door. This is simply insulting. Wish we had known what we were waiting for. The first indication should have been the amazingly overpriced wine list. All italian bottles priced at 3-5 x their value, excepting the most expensive choice being from the owners own winery in Canada (of course). The price for this bottle was simply obnoxious. A bit like his food. The beef brisket itself was cooked really well, but served in a pool of runny polenta. I have never seen such watery polenta. The pasta, cant recall what it was called, a sausage one with conchiglie (shell pasta) was dry as a bone. Almost as if it had been cooked a while ago and then reheated. In an italian restaurant I expect to be blown away by pasta. Didn't see much sausage either. Then came the desserts. A bland chocolate mouse with a sauce made with cocoa powder with little/no sugar, so very bitter. The apple tart was bland as well with plain apples baked in a thick stodgy pie crust - no flavor, no sparkle whatsoever. Would not give this one another go. There is a serious disconnection between the popularity of this restaurant and the calibre of the food. You come away feeling as if they are trying to pinch pennies by cutting corners in the kitchen, while killing it on the wine. Ultimately, between the price of the wine, the underwhelming food, the really long wait in the quiet lonely "wine lounge" and the large bill, we left unsatisfied and feeling a little gouged.
Ugh - I get frustrated just thinking about my experience here.
We were finally greeted at the door with a rather chilly reception. The place was almost empty & the room felt icy cold.
Our server was slow, unenthusiastic & totally removed. She couldn't be bothered to answer any questions & barely grunted out her responses.
The menu was so annoying to look over. It was built entirely around the most obscure words - I can only assume they're not trying to make you feel like an idiot, but that's certainly what one feels like when wondering what EVERY.SINGLE.ITEM. is!? The wine list is totally...uninteresting, not to mention overpriced. (Good Grappa, though)
Our food came - bland, uninspired, and TINY. I don't get it at all - when you're 'playing poor' by slumming it beside the Ivanhoe, why would you charge an arm & a leg for miniscule portions?! More importantly, why would anyone ever go back?
OK, in all fairness I am not a fan of this type of "decor". My pizza had almost nothing on it (it said "dandelion" which I know to be a type of chicory - there were three miniscule pieces)...and some squash. The "lardo" (I took the server's recommendation) was so subtle as to be completely...not there. Also, the pizza was underdone. I loved the breadsticks, though.
One of my biggest complaints was the wine list. It's 40 dollars for the cheapest bottle of red wine - and that is Colli Albani - really close to plonk. It's normally available in litres at around 10 bucks. So....that didn't feel very good. I don't mind paying if the food and atmosphere is great but this felt like gouging. There was also no aromas of food - it did not feel as if there was any cooking going on. I prefer a much more sensual atmosphere...this was cold, 'too cool for school' - reminded me how much I like cooking, and staying home. I cannot for the life of me understand the hype. I must say that our server did very well - we did have a number of complaints including the wine - she managed to be very kind to us.
Appealing decor, lighting good . Sat at window. Firstly, Waitress's attention taken away from us while taking our order by acknowloging previous patrons who are on street out side,now I ask you? We two order 1 salad, 1 pate and, two pasta dishes. Moments later, it's 8.30 ish pm Sunday Patron swings by circling the two small pasta plates with delicate theatrics, placing them quietly. Fine, but were pray are the two preliminary servings? I put this down to a confusion, mine perhapes for the moment not being up with the play though would rather have it the way I'm used to. Never the less and warm hearterly (I've been there myself) waitress was to lean that, well things had been rather forgotton. "So sorry, I never forget thngs usually but it has been a busy night, and as an appeasement we are bought forth a plate of cookies, flavouful but on the oily side as was the pasta not so the pretsiles however. Two Pasta dishes plus a half litre of wine = $50 and the usual over generous tip from my man came to$58 now I think that is over priced considering the size and cost of pasta which is minimal and the three tomatoe skins in a flavourful but oily ish sauce, come on guys, I like you but I feel you need to take a weee bit of a tip here cause I would like to feel it be worth while in my returning.
Waited one hour for pizzas, without receiving any sort of apology from staff, who were frankly dismissive about our questions regarding serving time. And I honestly am not one to generally care too much about quality of service. Food was very mediocre for the price, will not go back again.
I went to Campagnolo this weekend at the suggestion of a friend. I found the interior to be modern and cozy with a nice ambience. We were met with a smiling face and were seated promptly. It was around 8pm and was filling up nicely. The service was quick and the waitress was quite knowledgable about the menu and made some nice wine suggestions (although I already knew what I wanted and it was great!). The food came in good time, and the pizza was good - nothing spectacular, but good. The Tagliarini pasta with pork was very good, but I agree the portion was a bit smaller than I expected. Having previously worked in an Italian restaurant I suppose I am used to larger portions! However, it was very tasty and left me wanting more. We took advantage of the back room, as the front room emptied later in the evening. The vibe was good at the back, and we enjoyed some more wine. The back bar is really nice, and lends a warm atmosphere to the small room. All in all, I would definitely go back and enjoy some great wine, and share food. I wouldn't go if I wanted huge portions, but thats not what this place is all about. One thing that would have been good is if there was a small fireplace in the back against the wall = I felt something against the stark wall would have given more actual warmth. Just a suggestion! But, a great addition to the 'up and coming' neighbourhood.
Love the fact this is around the corner from where we leave and were looking forward to trying it. Last week we did and discover a very confused offering, Small portion of good food but at a heavy price.
Service was a waste of time, no recommendation when asked, no wine service, and after main course nobody anymore. So we stood up paid at the counter and went.
We stopped somewhere else for dessert to fill us up. Too bad a nice room nice idea.