Campagnolo: Slow Service + Disappointed Meal

Diana Chan May 9, 2011 Italian, Strathcona, Two Beakers

Since it was Tuesday and Campagnolo is part of the Telus: Taste of Tuesday, we went to finally try out Campagnolo. They offer a pretty good deal where you get a free appetizer and dessert with purchase of an entrée.

A group of 6 of us decided to head down, since it was game night, we knew it would not be too busy. We parked in the back lane and wanted to go into the restaurant but it was blocked off by the dumpster and random items.

We walked around to the front and sure enough, we found our way in. Walking through the door was pretty cool! It felt like a tunnel and you just end up inside the restaurant.

As we sat down, the waitress didn’t inform us of the deal even though I knew about it, I didn’t want to say anything yet. When it got to the point where it did not seem likely that she would tell us about the deal, I spoke up and asked if there was the Taste of Tuesday deal. Sure enough, she said there was the deal. There really were no promotions about it in the restaurant at all. (Until at the end of the meal).

With the deal, we were limited to ordering the secondi for our entrée. Some of us wanted to try the pizza but there were no substitutions allowed even though it was the same price as some of the appetizers.  We felt limited by our choices since we could only choose from 4 mains. There was no way around to get the pizza, we would have been happy to pay extra for that option.

We ordered all our items but service was very very slow. The restaurant was half empty, but we still had to wait 30 mins between each course. We felt the waitress was not being very attentive either. Perhaps this was because we were young looking and not super dressed up. Maybe it was just because the Canucks were playing? Whatever the excuse, we did not feel very welcomed. I don’t think I remember her smiling either.

M and CanuckGirl started off with the Beef Carpaccio ($13). It has several thin slices of raw beef topped with parmesan, salsa verde and herbs. You also get lemon to add more taste as well as focaccia to accompany the meat.

TaiwaneseGirl had the Peasant Chicken Soup ($9.50). The soup is made of chicken broth with black kale, lentils, parmesan and bread. She had a hard time choosing her appetizer since she did not like olives or beans. Since the description did not have all the ingredients, she was not aware of the beans. The soup was small and she just thought it was just ok.

FragileBoy ordered the Brushetta ($9). It has mushrooms and mozzarella on bruschetta drizzled with olive oil. The bread was nicely toasted and the toppings were yummy.

InsecureGirl and I both ordered the Seared Octopus ($13). It has nugget potatoes, olives, lardo (Cured back fat), and frisee lettuce. I actually liked this dish. I was surprised about the flavour profile of this dish. The seared octopus was tender and not too chewy. Having the olives and the cured back fat really accentuated the flavour! If you were blind folded, you might think this is just pork. I was pleasantly surprised.

As we dive into our main courses, M and FragileBoy both ordered the Red Wine Braised Beef ($24). The braised beef sat on top of soft polenta and topped with kale, marrow and gremolata (lemon zest +herbs). M said this dish was fairly salty. I tried a bit of it and it was indeed on the saltier side.

TaiwaneseGirl ordered the Fish of the day (~$25 ish) and it was trout. She did not know what was a trout, so the waitress had to explain to her it was similar to Salmon but not closely related. The trout is served on top of potatoes and kale. The salmon was nice and flakey.

InsecureGirl and CanuckGirl both ordered the Sloping Hill Pork ($21). It has the pork cut up into slices and served with ricotta gnocchi, fava beans and artichokes. One thing that everyone else noticed was how different the dishes were. CanuckGirl’s pork was well done and InsecureGirl’s dish was more of a medium rare. You can really tell the difference in the photos. Major inconsistencies here.  When I think about it, I don’t know what InsecureGirl did not send it back. Since eating undercooked pork can give you worms. Perhaps I am wrong?

I ordered the Polderside Chicken ($21). It comes with the slices of chicken, black lentils, swiss chard, and artichoke. I found the chicken to be a little bit on the dry side, but when I dipped it into the sauce it was a bit better. The dish was ok, but it really did not amaze my taste buds.

As we moved into dessert, M, FragileBoy, CanuckGirl and TaiwaneseGirl ordered the Tiramisu ($8). They all thought it was a good tiramisu. Very nice strong coffee taste!

InsecureGirl ordered the Vanilla Panna Cotta ($8). This has pannacotta with fruits on top. She did enjoy this dessert!

I ordered the Terrina di Cioccolato ($8). This dessert needs to be explained by your server because I literally thought it was just fruit and nuts. As you can clearly tell from the image, it is a brownie! Very nice brownie indeed! It was very chocolaty and had dried fruits and nuts embedded into the brownies.

The dishes definitely had their pros and cons. At the end of the meal, the waitress kindly split our bills, but she would only do one credit card transaction at a time. She would take one person’s bill, go to the back to do the transaction through their computers in the back. Half of the table didn’t realize this and get super confused because we all had our cards ready, so it would make more sense for her to take all our cards at once rather than walking back and forth several times. Perhaps having those portable transaction machines would work better as well.

Overall, I had a very bad impression from the meal. I gathered feedback from my friends and they did not feel satisfied. One person in our group was a huge fan of Campagnolo from previous experiences, but he was VERY disappointed and just shook his head. We all came to a consensus that if we only ordered an entrée, we would be disappointed. Since we did get free appetizers and free dessert, it was ok for the price we paid. We all paid around $25, which is a good price. Even so, the food was disappointing overall.

With all the raving reviews, we wanted to like it, but they fell short of these expectations.

Words of Wisdom:

  • Be aware of special deal restrictions
  • All desserts are spot on!
  • Free parking at rear
  • Reservations only for 8+ parties

We Rate Campagnolo:


1020 Main St
Vancouver, BC

Campagnolo on Urbanspoon

About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

  • I’m sorry to hear that you had a bad experience!

    I ate there last week with my girlfriend and we really enjoyed our experience there. You really have to try their Risotto Nero (Crispy Calamari) and Tagliatelle (Pork Ragu)!

  • DesignGirl

    Restaurants have their good days and bad days right? Those items did sound good, but we couldn’t choose those options as part of the special deal.

    Perhaps in the future if I decide to revisit.

  • Everydayshopper

    Hello Foodology!

    Firstly i am a fan of your food blog! Secondly i also shared a terrible experience at Campagnolos with a party of 6 as well. Long story short, the food was just OK cept the only thing good on their menu, the pizzas. The service was atrocious. We emailed to owner to no avail as they ruined what was supposed to be a birthday dinner. Their response was basically “Well youre the one that came to our restaurant.” There was no remorse was our food bill was a couple of hundred dollars.

    As word of mouth is the strongest advertisement, we’ve spread the word as Campagnolos is def a NO-GO.

    Keep up the great work on your blog!



  • DesignGirl

    Thats for reading the blog! I always love comments!

    I’ve heard a handful of good reviews and then a few bad reviews. I guess both of us got one of their bad days. At least people know now that no restaurant is ever perfect.