I like to flatter myself into thinking that I have my finger on the pulse of all that is hip and cool. For instance, Big M and I bought a condo near Hastings and Commercial because Hastings Sunrise is going to be the next big thing. The Waldorf had just reopened and then Red Wagon came along and now Campagnolo Roma opened up right across the street from Red Wagon. All awesome. Finger on the pulse (not a phrase that I coined, BTW).
Campagnolo Roma is the newest restaurant in the Refuel, Campagnolo family. I was amazed by the speed that they opened this restaurant. It is in the old Caribbean Hut Express location, and if you know that building, it is not pretty. A lovely example of 70s architecture that is all brown, cedar panelling and set back from the road a bit. Big M and I wondered how they were going to make this location look cool. We should never have doubted.
The inside is a lovely mixture of wood and bold paint colours with table seating for about 40 or so. I was amused that they left the old 70s brick tile on the floor and just gave it a black paint job. You can still just make out the old restaurant name in the floor tile. Funny. The bathrooms also had some nice work done to them with wood and mirror panelling plus, they were clean! We were there on their first Friday open (I was excited!) for a date night and they were busy, but not full. It was a hockey night though...
Their menu is said to focus on the Rome region of Italy. They offer some appies, pastas and pizzas on the regular menu and then a specials board. The specials board heavily featured spot prawns as it was the first week of their season.
I was so happy to see the Burrata cheese on the special menu. They had Burrata on the Valentine's day menu at Campagnolo and we loved it.
It was so good. I was trying to figure out how to describe the texture so I hit the interwebs and discovered that Burrata means "buttered" in Italian. Perfect description as it is made with mozzarella and cream. Buttery cheese drizzled with olive oil that you eat with a really tasty bread that was salted. I could have happily eaten 3 more and then end the night with Big M rolling me home.
We did decide to try other menu items and share. I went with a pasta from the regular menu. They offer all of their pastas in a small and large size, which I think is a great option!
tagliatelle- artichokes, calabrian chili, lemon 12 / 17 (This is the smaller $12.00 plate)
The small was the perfect size to share. The pasta was perfectly cooked and I loved the chili flakes. As I ate the pasta, I discovered lovely pieces of artichokes on the bottom. It had a really nice flavour without being saturated with sauce. A very good veggie option.
Big M chose the pizza option. He chose this one because of the addition of anchovies.
romana- olives, anchovy, tomato sauce 12.5
We couldn't see the anchovy so we guessed they must be in the sauce. It didn't make a difference to us in the end because the pizza was so tasty! The crust was a perfectly cooked and the toppings worked really well together. I love olives so I would not have argued with a whole pile more. Big M thought it was one of the tastier pizzas he has had lately.
The portion sizes were big enough that we didn't have room for dessert (which shocked Big M- I love dessert). We will just have to go back another night for dessert!
We had a very lovely date night filled with great food. The waitstaff were all nice and we seemed to have every waiter in the restaurant drop by the table at some point in the night. I am so happy that Campagnolo Roma has come to my neighbourhood and wish them many years of success. We will do our best to help them out with that as often as we can! Hopefully this is the beginning of a restaurant Renaissance in Hastings Sunrise!