Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Campagnolo has been on my list of places-to-try for a few months now, and I made it over for dinner last Friday. After such an unusually warm day it seemed that the rest of Toronto had the same idea. The place was booked solid from 6pm onward. No prob for me because at busy spots such as this I find the best place to dine alone is the bar - it offers the best view, plus interesting people to chat with! In the case of Campagnolo, it's also a great vantage point for watching the busy open kitchen.
When I sat down I noticed Chef Craig Harding tossing something in a bowl that looked like... Tuna Tartare!? My fave! I knew I had to order it!
But not before I give my stale afternoon palate a punch-in-the-face with a plate of the richest, most lovely Prosciutto! Wine with that? Yes, please!
Things were pretty relaxed at the start, but when things picked up they REALLY picked up.
Pouring a beer.
This couple was adorable. They were really, really excited to be sitting right by the kitchen!
My super-friendly bartender pouring someone a glass of wine.
A little bit of mid-service anxiety, but nothing they can't handle!
Nice couple that I ended up talking to later. The cool thing about drawing is that it opens conversation with people who might not usually talk to strangers! And is there anything stranger than some lone girl sitting at a bar, stuffing her face as she draws you?
No matter what restaurant you're in, all cooks make variations of the same expression when they work. Intense!
Two older men seated at the rail as their wives dine at the bar.
Bartender was a little stressed as the orders kept flooding in, but everything worked out in the end! Friday is the night to drink excessively, after all.
Concentrating hard through the thick of it.
Then I moved over to another section of the bar. This gave me a different perspective from which to draw and continue eating. Oh ya, did I mention the Tuna Tartare? Yes, that was mighty delicious. As was the Spanish Squid dish, which I had never tried. It came with the cutest roll of risotto stained purple with squid ink!
As the night wore on the atmosphere turned bar-like with fashionable young things chatting and sipping cocktails. I was the one hiding in the corner devouring salted caramel pudding and Italian liquor on the rocks.
After 6 hours of staring at one, I realized how much I needed to buy myself a plaid shirt. I love them so.
Bartender and server have a laugh.
Pouring more drinks! Oh ya and check out the couple in the background. She kept making advances, but he was so enthralled with the open kitchen that her attempts went unanswered.
Filling out somebody's bill.
Night out with the ladies! They've got this really nice plushy couch when you first walk in for people to lounge on.
A new couple next to me trying a whole bunch of dishes.
Here's me being ridiculous playing with reflective surfaces. The shiny mass on the right is the beer-pourer-thingie.
Cleaning some glasses... hmm, is it time for bed?
A big table in the middle of the room enjoy a late dinner.
Aaaannnnddd by midnight and 6 hours of drawing, I figured it was my bedtime. Thanks all for the good times and fabulous meal! I'll have to come by again to taste the Wild Boar, Spareribs, Tripe and Meatballs on Polenta... mmmm!!! Next time!