Tag Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Undercover

Campagnolo Restaurant, Main Street

(Please ignore the covert, spy-quality blackberry photo)

Risky business(es): 1) Intravenous Drugs; 2) Opening a restaurant next to the Ivanhoe.

Undercover as a grossly ignored corner of Vancouver’s most troubled area, something interesting springs to life. A restaurant. It kind of reminds me of this:

 Overgrown

Having been raised in East Vancouver, the word “Ivanhoe” conjures up a lot of imagery pertaining to infectious diseases, stolen strip loins, shopping carts, mouthwash and system failure.  But now that I’ve been to Campangolo, I can add Tagliarini Pork Ragu with Basil and Pecorino to the list. And a few perfectly roasted beets to start.

Located right next door to the Ivanhoe, Campagnolo neither fits in nor sticks out. It’s the artsy, bohemian, arguably hotter brother of the far preppier Fuel on West 4th.  The atmosphere is all very five o’clock shadow and suits a moody glass of red wine (a highly suggested pairing for adventures on the outskirts of town). The dining room faces Main Street with a seperate wine-bar tucked on the alley-side. Both rooms have nice architecural features (beamed ceiling, light fixtures, brick walls) that create an overall dining experience that is really just about you, the person you’re sitting across from, and the food.    

The food itself is an easy conversation on the plate. Each ingredient has its own story to tell and needs be noticed – much like the people outside on the street.  

I definitely recommend you take a look.

not-so champagne wednesday

San Francisco

No actual champagne, that is. But I promise, we were still very champagne-like in spirit.

You see, Ash had a craving for sweet and sour pork. So, wandering we went down Commercial Drive with Whiskey in tow to scope out Chongqing (the Szechuan place on the corner of Commercial and 12th that has really great take-out). The only problem is that our champagne vision involved a patio. And Chinese restaurants rarely have patios. It’s true, think of any you know (fusion doesn’t count). Also, it turned out Ashleah’s craving was very specific and did not include “restaurant” Chinese food at all, but “mall” Chinese food (which I actually refuse to assign an ethnicity). So wandering onwards we went, finally ending up at the very opposite end of Commercial (as often happens when we are hungry and trying to make a decision) at a place called Zawa. And yes, we were going to have champagne, but Sleeman’s were on for $3.99/pint. The place was empty, and slightly disjointed with its trendy sign outside and old pub style interior (complete with crazy-haired man eating the $13.99 New York Steak special). Anyway, they have a huge patio. And the owner was nice enough to turn on the heater just for us so Whiskey didn’t have t wait in the car. The waitress was spacey in this oddly charming way and, against all better judgment, we liked the place so much we ordered bruschetta, just because we wanted to give them some business. And you know what? The Bruschetta was pretty good. With balsamic drizzle and roasted cloves of garlic and, sure, a dead looking salad garnish, but who’s perfect? And isn’t that the Champagne spirit? Not waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect place but just raising your glass to the person or place you love and saying, this is perfect enough right now.

For the love of breakfast…

Breakfast in love

Good Friday. A good day for adventure. Ash and I headed out to a little coffee place we found off Commercial Street – Little Nest – and found so much more. A wide, white expanse of a café as comfortable as any living room (family and children included).

Bistro-sophistication:

Good Food Takes Timephpb6WoJm

The occasional toddler-sized pickpocket aside, the coffee was served to our table in white porcelain cups and the food was well-above anything normally labeled “family-friendly.”

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I had: shockingly orange organic eggs and buttered multigrain soldiers. Americano.
He had: seedy muesli with cinnamon-yogourt and orange slices. Americano, too.

Total Bill: $17.50 including well-earned tip.

Whiskey waited outside, but got lots of attention…

Whiskey getting attention