- Italian $21.95-$43.95
1382 First Ave.
New York, NY 10021
- Neighborhood: Upper East Side
- Phone: 212-861-1102
Rustic furnishings and hearty dishes may reflect Campagnola’s tagline, “a country restaurant,” but its clientele is urban-country club. Bejeweled, heavily made-up women on the arms of dapper older men crowd the narrow bar, near a pianist playing Sinatra and other standards. The raucous din subsides somewhat in the main dining area, where baroque oil paintings and odds and ends adorn cream plaster walls. A small contingent of families settles here, often with Lilly Pulitzer-sporting tweens in tow. The offerings have a certain time-honored and orderly air about them. Appetizers, divided into freddi and caldi, are seafood-heavy—vongole oreganata, delectable buttery clams, are baked with a top layer of browned parmesian and garlic. The rest of the menu follows suit, breaking down by category though concentrating on turf not surf. Thin filets of veal steeped in a subtle, sweet marsala sauce get a wonderfully potent kick from porcini mushrooms. Classic pastas yield one absolute stunner: orecchiette caccese, small cupped al dente noodles with spicy sausage bits and broccoli in a thin cream and shallot sauce that is exactly rich enough. Such sumptuous dishes come with a hefty price tag, though it’s doubtful most patrons look twice.
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