Campagnolo birthday!

The Dundas West (DuWest) strip has come a long way from the seedy shops and Portuguese churraschurrias.  Now Dundas West is known in the foodie world as the 'carnivore's' terrain with restaurants like the Hoof Cafe, Black Hoof and Porchetta and Co on it.  Add newbie Campagnolo to this mix with it's meat heavy offerings blended with homestyle Italian cooking and it's all complete.

Campagnolo meaning 'countryman' in Italian was formerly a Coffee Time donuts chain and definitely has had a face lift.  The name translates into the decor as it's unassumingly intimate with no air of pretension, dimmed candle light make the feel of the inside more cozy and rustic.  And it also comes across in its food, where it's simple pleasures.  
We have a table for 12 people so in order to accommodate us, we were only able to confirm a reservation for 9:30pm.  One of the drawbacks of eating there so late was that some of the dishes (house made parpadele) on the limited menu had sold out for the night which just means that I will have to go back and try those dishes again.
Regardless, everything we ate was outstanding.  The service was constant and warm.
For appetizers, the group of us ordered different plates to share from warm olives to the frissee salad.  The stands outs for me were the thinly shaved prosciutto plate which came in heaping amounts and the burrata cheese dish with roasted grapes.  The burrata was soft and buttery while the roasted grapes were juicy, and sweet which made for a sweet and creamy blend of gooey goodness.
For mains, there were folks that had the duck confit with bone in done tenderly on top of lentils and veg, and  the 'House-made Spaghetti a L'Amatriciana', swirly spaghetti in a tomato sauce which was very rich and savoury with bits of pork interspersed within.
We also tried the Chef/co-owner Craig Harding's signature dish which was inspired by his nonna.  It was a ragù of tender wild boar, juicy spare ribs, bits of spongy tripe, and hearty meatballs that were so flavorful, mixed together and plated on top of a silky smooth polenta, simply deliciosos!!
After dinner, the music was turned down and an announcement of birthday celebrations came from the kitchen as both Craig and I were celebrating them that evening followed by a crowd singing 'Happy Birthday' at the top of their lungs.  For my birthday, my good friend Matt, got me a poutine birthday cake from Poutinis!  What an incredible surprise!!! When it was set down in front of me - I didn't realize what it was until they brought a tub of the Poutini's gravy to the table.
I really am so lucky to have amazing friends and a great week of birthday eats!
Outstanding times!!

**** 1/2 stars

832 Dundas St. W.  (At Euclid)
Woodlot Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon

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