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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Between-the-Holidays Dinner at Campagnolo Roma

James Wright
I have always enjoyed exploring the restaurants and shops east of Main Street, and now that Vancouver Opera has moved into its new facility off Clark Drive, I’m finding myself spending more time exploring and discovering new (some just new to me; others actually rather new) places.

On a rainy weeknight between Christmas and New Years and seeking something quite different from turkey or ham, a friend and I went to Campagnolo Roma – a sister restaurant to Campognolo on Main Street near Terminal.

Campagnolo Roma is at 2297 Hastings (across and down a block from East Village Bakery – more about it another time!) and specializes – surprise - in dishes with a bit more Roman bent versus Northern or Southern Italian.   

Campagnolo Roma
The place is not at all fussy: clean lines, spare, lots of windows through which I could watch folks scurrying home through the heavy rain.

I love Italian food (all food, I guess), nurtured by the three months I spent in Bologna a few years ago studying the language.  I think I studied il cibo bolognese as much as I did la lingua italiana….

But back to Campognolo Roma:  I enjoyed the “local octopus salad” for starters, with greens, chilled potato, gaeta olives and red wine vinegar,  then dug into a nice bowl of spaghetti con salsiccia finocchio; I believe my partner had the pasta with wild boar special, but I’m frankly not sure as I was concentrating on my own dinner.  I do know we shared a bottle of Montepulciano d’abruzzo riserva. Being very careful as always about my weight, I virtuously turned down dolce.

As we were finishing a young couple came in, sat at the cozy little bar and started off with a couple of glasses of prosecco – now why didn’t I think of that??

- James W. Wright
General Director, Vancouver Opera

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