So, was it worth the wait? Definitely. The food was yummy...very unique dishes made with fresh, home-made ingredients, for reasonable prices...the service was great, and the ambience was spectacular! I now understand why the wait is normally so long. So, if you're in the mood for Italian and don't want to break the bank, Campagnolo is definitely a good bet.
Things to note: (1) Campagnolo does not take reservations for groups smaller than 8 people. (2) The restaurant didn't seem to get really busy until about 7:30pm. However, it was a sunny day, so I would guess it would probably start to get busy by 7pm on a rainy day. (2) There is free parking right in front of the restaurant. (3) Campagnolo has a sister restaurant called Campagnolo Roma (http://www.campagnoloroma.com/) located at Hastings and Nanaimo, which I'm looking forward to trying next!
Crispy Ceci: chickpeas, chilies, mint and citrus. ($8.50) We would have never considered ordering this, but our server suggested it and we were glad she did. Very yummy in our tummies! Definitely keep this item on your short list as you narrow down the menu items.
Local Octopus: fregula salad, red endive, grilled coppa (pork sausage), grapefruit. ($13) If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away to know that we have local octopus. Who knew? Needless to say, I had to try it just for that reason. This dish was delightful! The fregula was definitely a big hit for me. It's a small pasta ball, similar to cous cous.
Rigatoni: chorizo ragu, spot prawns, 'sole food' arugula. ($18) Who can resist spot prawns when it's spot prawn season? This was really nice. The pasta was super fresh, the sauce was nice and light, the spot prawns had a lovely flavour and texture, the greens were oh so fresh, and the cheese (we think fresh ricotta)...well cheese is always the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned!
Flank Steak: semolina gnocchi, ramps, roasted radishes. ($21) This was very nice. The gnocchi literally melted in your mouth...it was like they were only solid until they hit your mouth...the flank steak was cooked very nicely and the radishes were awesome! I've never had roasted radishes before, but I think I'm going to have to figure out how to cook them at home.
The X that marks the spot.