Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Campiello: Tuscan-Inspired Cuisine in Old Naples

Housed in the historic Naples Mercantile Building on beautiful Third Street South and surrounded by the original beach cottages and lovely homes of Old Naples, Campiello is celebrated for its award-winning Italian cuisine inspired by traditional Tuscan country cooking. With an open kitchen with wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and rotisserie-grilled specialties, the restaurants Tuscan-inspired menu also features many fine wines from local and global vintners. With a beautiful outdoor courtyard of cascading bougainvillea and original 1930's fountain, Campiello is a Naples dining tradition. Owned by the D’Amico family, Campiello also features its own boutique Empori Campiello, a unique shop stocked with clothing and accessories imported from Italy. Arriving for a leisurely lunch with our dear friend Charles, we were seated at a lovely table in Campiello's gorgeous outdoor courtyard and enjoyed with a delicious chilled bottle of chilled Gavi to celebrate our special lunch. In addition to the regular menu, there are always a selection of special dishes which this day included one of my absolute favourites, a Burrata Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. Charles and my husband shared a generous Affettati Misti of mixed Italian salume and cheese. For entrĂ©es we all succumbed to a selection of Campiello's sublime pastas, including Linguine all Vongole infused with garlic, briny clams, white wine, and chili flakes, tasty Orecchiette Primavera and Spaghetti alla Chitarra with marinara sauce and Campiello meatballs. Enjoying a delightful lunch on a perfect sunny afternoon, we took Campiello's sage motto to heart: Eat well, Laugh often, Live long.

Original 1930s fountain in the flowering courtyard of Campiello Ristorante

The scenic outdoor courtyard overlooks Third Street South in Old Naples

Campiello's debossed leather menu of award-winning cuisine, featuring dry and fresh pasta, wood-roasted and rotisserie-grilled specialties, decadent dolci and wine from local and global vintners

Warm fresh baked baguette

Campiello server presenting our 2013 Tenuta La Marchesa White Label Gavi

Light straw yellow in colour with aromas of ripe apples and tree fruits, 
the Tenuta Marchesa Gavi was cold, crisp and delicious

Burrata Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes and basil 

Affettati Misti of mixed Italian salume and cheese

Linguine Fini with Clams, White Wine and Garlic

Orecchiette Primavera

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Marinara Sauce and Campiello Meatballs

Campiello almond toffee profiterole with wild blueberry gelato

Chef Michael Dalton of Campiello in Old Naples

Chef Dalton's famous Tajarin Egg Pasta with shaved white truffles from Alba, a pasta specialty of Piedmont

Campiello's Balsamic Glazed Beef Short Ribs 
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of chef Michael Dalton, Campiello

Beef Short Ribs:
6 pieces beef shortribs, 2 bone cut 2.5" thick
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsley chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 package fresh rosemary
1 package fresh thyme
2 bottles white wine
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp kosher salt
olive oil for browning

Balsamic Glaze:
6 garlic bulbs, split horizontally
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 sprigs of rosemary
4 cups balsamic vinegar
7 cups chicken stock 
4 cups veal or beef stock 
1 stick butter

Generously salt and pepper the meat. Heat olive oil in a large pan to nearly smoking and add the ribs. Turn the heat down slightly and carefully brown the meat on both sides, abut avoid scorching. Remove meat and place in a pan large enough to hold meat and vegetables. After the ribs are cooked, deglaze pan with white wine and reduce, scraping up the brown bits. Pour the deglazing liquid in the braising pan with the ribs, and add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Sprinkle a little more salt over the ribs and mirepoix. Cover tightly with foil. Place in 350°F oven and bake for 3 hours until the meat is fork tender. Start checking the ribs after 2 hours, making sure too much liquid has not been lost, if so add chicken stock so it doesn't dry out. 

While ribs are cooking, begin making a glaze. In a large sauce pan over med-high heat, melt the butter. When it begins to foam, sprinkle the sugar over entire pan surface, then place the garlic cut side down on top of sugar, then add the rosemary. Cook until the sugar begins to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes. Once the garlic and sugar have browned nicely, add the balsalmic vinegar, increase heat and reduce by 80% — the fumes might be "a little much". After the vinegar has reduced, add the chicken stock, and reduce by half; then add the veal or beef stock, reduce by 70% or until the sauce is starting to tighten up a bit. 

When the ribs are fork tender, remove and cool. Strain the liquid, discard the vegetables, and skim the fat from the reserved braising liquid. In a large sauce pan, add the ribs, one ladle of reserved braising liquid, 2 ladles of reduced glaze, and 2 sprigs of rosemary, then pour the reduced liquid around the ribs until nicely glazed. Adjust for seasoning. Swirl in a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter to add extra richness, if desired. Chef Dalton serves this dish with Spaghetti tossed with smoked tomatoes and Sicilian onions.

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