When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my birthday this year, I figured I would keep it small and just invite the people who matter the most to me. Long gone are the days where you would create a facebook invite and invite every single person you know to join you down at Caprice for a night of dancing and despite those who said they would show up, the only people who actually did were those you cared about the most. Not that I ever went to a club for my birthday, but I figured I was old enough to just invite the people I wanted to see and cut out all those who may or may not make time to celebrate my birthday with me.
I’ve wanted to do a small birthday dinner party for a long time, so I finally took the oportinity to do it this year. Chad and I always look up restuarnats on Open Table when we want to see if anyone is having a special deal or when we want to make sure we have a reservation. I decided to do a search for a restaurant in Gastown for my birthday, but even though I was looking to book something a month in advance there were no places available for our group size at a reasonable time. Then Claudia, the brilliant foodie that she is, suggested this new place on main street called Campagnolo. She had heard many good things about it and was waiting to try it out herself. I checked out the menu and was sold. Birthday dinner location found!
There was 8 of us who went out for dinner. Claudia had to cancel due to a last minute all expenses paid trip to Hong Kong. Yea, she leads a difficult life ;)
I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant. Kind of felt like I was in someones cantina having dinner.
shaved mushrooms, arugula, shallot vinaigrette, pecorino
I had to represent half of my home town. I can’t believe I am actually coming around to the flavours of radicchio! Salad was so good!
manila clams, white wine, chillies, parsley
This pasta was amazing. The chillies added a nice bite to it and the clams were oh so yummi. Vogole FTW!
“Affordable, casual Italian dining in a warm and welcoming space. Campagnolo serves rustic dishes inspired by the Piedmont and Emiglia-Romagna regions of Italy in an open, spacious room highlighted by original old growth fir wood beams.”
While we waited for our desserts to be served the table requested a speech for yours truly. At this point I was on my 3rd glass of wine. Well played my friends, well played!
They tried to get me to cry by mentioning ‘The Farm’ but I was stronger then that. I decided I would go around the table and tell everyone why I invited them to my party.
Chad: I told him I loved him and he was fabulous, which made everyone question if he was gay or not, because apparently you can only use the work fabulous when describing the gays.
Shaz: She is my sister in rage and with out her, who would I chat to online all day long. We also email each other funny tumblr photos which is the greatest thing ever.
Alicia: If there is every an earthquake and we are at work we will be the only one to survive because of all the vitamin Water she hoards under her desk.
Elise: She sent me an email asking me if I knew of a website that had maps of all the Castles and Palaces in England and it made me feel special that she thought I knew that much about the royal family.
Adam: He was wearing a Death from Above 1979 shirt, which I was in love with, and he had skipped his ‘Sunday Leage’ soccer game which made me feel pretty important.
Dario: We’ll hes Italian, so need I say more? We’ve also known each other for a million years so I get emotional talking about him. I also forgave him for voting Communist in the last election.
Ryan: He’s replacing the deck in our building and with out him, we will never sell our apartment. It’s all on your shoulder Ryan!
Everyone was basically laughing their heads off, which was exactly what I was trying to do. I then may or may not have thrown down an ethnic slur about blueberry farms, which I’m pretty sure made Ryan cry. Hot damn, sometimes I amuse myself.
The cool thing about Campagnolo is that they have a Grappa bar. All the boys ordered a Resentin (espresso & ½ oz Grappa di Prosecco).
“Resentin – after finishing an espresso with sugar, grappa is poured into the nearly empty cup, swirled & drunk quickly.“
I had the Vanilla Panna Cotta and was partially mortified when I noticed the candle on the side of my plate. Thank God for those 3 glasses of wine.
DEATH FROM ABOVE
Over all it was probably one of the best Birthdays I have ever had. It totally makes a difference when you surround yourself with the people you care about.
I loved Campagnolo and am very glad I chose to have dinner there. I also loved that when I told my Mom where it was she kind of freaked out. Yes, it may be in a sketchy part of town, but doesn’t she know that’s where all the good restaurants are?! The food was really good and the atmosphere was even better. There are 100 places to go in Vancouver for good Italian food, but why not try one that is relaxed and casual. I love all things rustic!
I wonder if they’d let me live in the restaurant?