August 25, 2012: The Perfect Meal! Cos & Effect Kicks Off!
August 25, 2012 by Joseph Mallozzi
Last night, I had THE perfect meal. And, by “perfect”, I mean perfect for me. And no wonder given that my dinner was planned and prepared by Chef Rob Belcham. No one knows my culinary likes and dislikes, leanings and particulars better than Rob and the gang from Campagnolo/Campagnolo Roma/Fat Dragon.
Fellow owner Tom Doughty texted me earlier this week to let me know they had some very special pork in and would I be interested in having dinner at Campagnolo? Would I!
Chef Rob Belcham, the master of ceremonies on this night.
So, last night, Akemi and I showed up at Campagnolo where we were greeted by Chef Belcham who had that glint in his eye, the look of someone who was about to spring a surprise. As it turned out, several them over the course of our meal. No menus for us on this night. But I wasn’t worried. We were in infinitely capable hands.
First up, the corn soup. Not just any corn soup. This is THE corn soup, the corn soup they used to serve at Refuel, available only during peak season. The corn is pressed through a cheesecloth, several times to achieve its thick, rich consistency. My favorite soup of all time.
It was served chilled with melon and a touch of chili. I told Akemi that, back in the day, when it was on the menu at the old location, I used to have two bowls – one to start the meal and one to end it. It’s that good.
The salad included sungolds from Stoney Paradise, the sweetest tomatoes you’ll ever eat (contrasted with the slightly tarter heirloom), along with some fresh basil, mozzarella, and a little something from the charcuterie.
We were presented with the piece de resistance, the star of the evening: The Pork Belly Rack
Bar Director Giovanni Giardino heard I was a fan of the Moscow Mule and asked me if I wanted to try his take on the classic.
Instead of ginger beer, he uses a ginger syrup that packs quite the wicked throat punch.
It is accompanied by the same concentrated syrup with overproof. One single drop will blow away your tastebuds.
The rack was served with polenta, peas, radish…it was unbelievable. The meat was tasty and melt-in-your-mouth tender, the skin crisp and delicious. Unforgettable.
Then, it was time for dessert and I was presented with…
Another serving of corn soup, this one topped with peaches and dill. Just like old times!
For Akemi, a fabulous butterscotch trifle.
What a great dinner. Thoroughly satisfied, we – WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Onto our second round of desserts -
Akemi loves cheesecake and this mascarpone cheesecake with fresh cherries didn’t disappoint. Even I was a fan!
“Didn’t think we would let you go without some chocolate, did you?”asked Chef Belcham. Corn soup, sungold tomatoes, crispy pork, more corn soup, AND a chocolate dessert! Valhrona Chocolate Pudding with Nutella cream and crushed hazelnuts. Best Dessert Ever!
I don’t eat out as much as I used to but the dinner made me wistful for the good old days at Fuel/Refuel – and, quite frankly, eager to come back to Campagnolo to sample the incredible-looking pastas and pizzas that passed our table over the course of the evening.
The meal was nothing short of perfection. A huge thanks to Rob, Tom, and the rest of the gang!
FAT DRAGON BAR-B-Q
Hey, Cos & Effect (Cos & Effect) kicked off on Friday and continues through the weekend. Akemi and I dropped by this afternoon and I snapped a few pics – which I’ll be posting as part of tomorrow’s blog entry. Here’s a sneak peek:
Captain Jack says: “A con? I love cons. Drinks all around!”
Carl’s faves: The ladies of Final Fantasy