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We went to Campagna last night - a meal that was much anticipated. It is definitely an experience. The place is lovely and I'm trying to recall the old restaurant. I think the difference was that there were no tablecloths and fewer tables - a more rustic feel here. Service was stellar - very well trained staff, even to the point that when we were seated the speaker for the music was right behind me and the music too loud so the hostess had them turn it down for me to a perfect volume. In addition to the servers and bus personnel there were roving suited gentlemen walking around making sure everything was fine. Some, of course, were sommeliers. Our server took our drink order and shortly thereafter we were approached by one of these suited gentlemen who enthusiastically told us his favorite menu items, making sure we knew we should have 3 courses - after all, Michael White is the Pasta King. Then our server came with our drinks and we discussed a few menu items and were told, again, that the menu was designed so that we have three courses because, well, the owner is the Pasta King. On to the food. I did not have an appetizer (dessert was calling me) but my husband had the Panzanella di Passera - fluke crudo with tomato confit, olives and croutons in a Meyer lemon sauce. It was an amazing combination of flavors. We opted to share a pasta - I did want to have pasta there because, well, you know. So, we shared the Tortelli - pork shoulder ravioli, cacio e pepe. That was some of the best pasta I have ever eaten - creamy sauce with pillowy ravioli stuffed with pork shoulder ragu. So far, we were very happy. It was at this point I started comparing the food to the food of Shea Gallante at the old Italian Kitchen I Ardsley, which I always loved. His pasta was pretty terrific too, and his cacio e pepe just as good. For the mains, my husband had the filet crusted with Parmesan and bone marrow in a porcini sauce with pomme puree. I don’t like filet but this was delicious. However, my husband was underwhelmed. He agreed it was good but it did not knock his socks off. I opted for the chicken cacciatore style - highly recommended by the visiting suit and I was very disappointed. It was a half chicken and the leg and thigh was braised in the sauce and was very good - though I have had better, and the breast was served on top - roasted. HUH? The suit said it was for contrast but I would have preferred it in the sauce and falling off the bone. This was a roast chicken breast and a just ok one at that. I had better at Baily's in Ridgefield. Ok, so next time pasta. For dessert my husband chose port and I had their take on tiramisu - deconstructed caramel mascarpone with a piece of caramel, a chip of chocolate but an amazing white coffee ice cream. I could have eaten a dish of that. Again, going back to Italian Kitchen - Shea had white coffee ice cream on his menu and the waiter explained how they make it - somehow extracting an amazing coffee flavor. The dinner cost us $300 for two including the tip. Wines by the glass were average priced for this type of place, running $15-$22 per glass, but I thought the pours were a bit skimpy. They come in a little carafe - but it’s a small one. The port was $26.
In all, I think the food was just as good if not better at the Italian Kitchen - but it's gone and I'm sad. Don't get me wrong - this was an amazing experience and we will go back - for pasta and appetizers!! This is a special occasion place for us, though there were those dining there who could clearly make this their once a week place!!
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