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Nov 18, 2008 07:38 AM

da Campo Osteria - Fort Lauderdale

Da Campo Osteria (Todd English's new Italian restaurant) in Fort Lauderdale opened last week according to an article in the Sun Sentinel... has anyone been yet? I have looked all over for a menu but their site isn't up yet.

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  1. I'm trying it out this Thursday . . . will post my review shortly after. I have a printed copy of their initial menu which looks good. Fresh Mozzarella prepared tableside, served warm with your choice of extras etc. . .

    5 Replies
    1. re: themaddiner

      da Campo Osteria, fort lauderdale
      just off ocean ove. + oakland park blvd. @ il lugano
      november 2008

      Il Lugano
      3333 NE 32nd Ave
      Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
      (954) 564-4400

      checked out todd english's new place @ il lugano and had an all around great experience. greeted at the door by the hostess and manager who brought us complimentary glasses of prosecco as we waited for our table. we were seated on time in the small, well appointed dining area. wood floors and modern decor in muted tones with the focal point being the massive copper oven visible in the open kitchen area. service was very attentive and professional yet relaxed as we were allowed to order from the menu as the meal progressed rather than being required to place the entire order at once. ordered a bottle of capezzana barco reale from the efficient wine list of approx. seven whites and seven reds. we began with their signature warm, fresh made mozzarella, pulled tableside with two preparations; 'caprese' with sun gold tomatoes and sweet basil as well as the 'terra' with prosciutto di parma and figs / fig olive oil. the freshness of the mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes and figs were memorable although i can't imagine what would happen if every table ordered the fresh mozzarella . . . the preparation cart is rather large and would cause serious service problems if placed throughout the small space. next up was a trio of antipasti; the tuna crudo with potato and lemon which was a simple execution of thinly sliced tuna over wedges of roasted potato. this was fresh but could have used a bit more seasoning and lemon flavor. white anchovies paired with fire roasted red peppers was again simply prepared and perfectly satisfying. a few tasty oysters with orange wedges and smoked sea salt completed our appetizer selections. a small basket of a variety of fresh breads was also provided which was excellent; focaccia along with raisin bread etc. we continued with an excellent fig and prosciutto pizza, featuring a fairly thin, correctly charred, flavorful crust. the penne with shrimp, arugula and candied lemon was very light with tender perfectly cooked shrimp and tangy strips of candied lemon to brighten the dish. a simply grilled / roasted fresh snapper selection was really nice, honest flavors. dessert consisted of beautifully presented olive oil gelato with biscotti, a rich, warm chocolate macadamia dish as well as a tiramisu soufflé which was extremely enjoyable. every dish was composed of high quality fresh ingredients which were well seasoned and prepared, artfully presented and full of flavor. i will definitely return to sample the remainder of the menu.

      THE GOOD
      • friendly, professional staff
      • management clearly visible and attentive
      • beautiful space with great attention to details
      • small, carefully chosen affordable wine list
      • excellent menu variety
      • high quality, well seasoned and prepared selections
      • artfully presented flavorful dishes

      THE BAD
      • none

      THE UGLY
      • none

      1. re: themaddiner

        da Campo Osteria prices:

        Antipasti > $8 - $14
        Insalata > $11 - $18
        Pizze > $10 - $14
        Pasti > $13 - 24
        Secondi, including meats, fish, & fowl > $24 - $40
        Contorni > $8 - $9

        Wine from approx. $20 - $60

        1. re: themaddiner

          Wow, thank you for taking the time to post that. I just made a reservation based on your positive report. I have tried to find a copy of the menu online but haven't been successful, so I guess we'll just wing it when we get there.

          1. re: Mauslein

            I have a copy of their initial menu, some items were different last night.
            You're lucky I'm an excellent typist!

            Warm fresh-made mozzarella pulled tableside with your choice of spices etc.
            Simple: olive oil, sea salt & cracked pepper
            Spicy: pickled hot pepperoncini peppers
            Caprese: sun gold tomatoes, sweet basil
            Terra: prosciutto di parma, fig olive oil
            Verde e Nero: green & black olive tapenade
            Dolce: honey spiced walnuts, blonde raisons


            Piatto di Salami
            Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Coppa, Soppresata, Bresaola

            Beets with Pistachio
            Wood Grilled Asparagus, Pecorino & Red Onion
            Roasted Cauliflower, Italian Bread Crumbs & Egg
            Wilted Green Beans & Ricotta Salata
            Cremini Mushrooms, Celery Leaf & Parmesan

            Tuna Crudo, Potato & Lemon
            Mussels Caponata
            White Anchovy, Fire Roasted Peppers
            Rock Shrimp, Beans & Garlic
            Oysters, Orange & Smoked Sea Salt


            Grilled Trevisano Ceasar Salad
            Mom's Wooden Bowl Salad
            Fennel, Grapefruit, Olive & Goat Cheese
            Tuscan Bread, Tomato & Burrata

            Fig & Prosciutto
            Quattro Fromaggio
            Broccoli Rabe, Italian Sausage & Ricotta
            Wild Mushroom, Red Onion, Fontina & Truffle Oil
            Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil

            Spicy Calabria Onion Soup with Fontina Frittata
            Linguine Vongole, Pancetta, Chilies
            Butternut Squash Agnolotti
            Penne, Shrimp, Arugula, Candied Lemon
            Ricotta Ravioli, Sausage, Roasted Peppers
            Bucatini All'Amatriciana
            Spaghetti Pomodoro


            Shrimp Cacciatore
            Scallopini of Filet Mignon, Balsamic Wild Mushrooms
            Bread Stick Pork Milanese on the Bone, Olive Caper Relish
            Yellow Snapper Marsala
            Basil Crusted Chicken, Sun Burst Tomatoes
            Tuscan Cowboy Ribeye
            Garlic Roasted Chicken, Sweet Sausage Bread Pudding
            Tonnato Vitello alla da Campo


            Broccoli Rabe, Escarole & Beans
            Rosemary Charred Lemon Roasted Potato
            Balsamic Sweet Onion
            Asparagus Milanese
            Polenta Fries

        2. re: themaddiner

          I have been to DaCO four times now. On each occassion I have met the manager, Bruce, and conversed with him. On each occassion he has never remembered meeting me or shown any indication of recognition.
          Last night the energy was great. However after we had eaten our first course the server told us she forgot what our entree order was. It then took half an hour to get that. In the interim we were told they ran out of bread. When our dinner did arrive it was good. The server told us they were buying my cup of coffee to make it up to us.
          All this time Bruce was running around, helping serve, etc. but never came over to see how we were doing.
          Bottom line...nice place put they need to get their act together.

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. We went tonight, a reasonably large group of us--eight in all, six adults, and two little children. Overall impression?: I was very impressed with the food, which was largely terrific (even by NY standards), but the restaurant had some pretty odd quirks which were a bit ludicrous. They're having issues with their electrical power, so the lights dimmed up and down several times, and the restaurant was extremely dark. We consulted the manager, who did his part to help, but the lights kept dimming. Service was generally attentive and solid.

            The food? Terrific grilled sardine appetizer (a special), a very strong tuna spaghetti "bolognese" (also a special, but great), really strong mozzarella made table side, and great fish dishes, too.

            It was expensive--the tab came to just under $600 for our party, including one pricy bottle of Chianti ($90).

            Overall, I give it a very strong rating, though I hope Da Campo gets its electrical act together, as that was really the only issue holding it back. B+ / A- range for me.

            Nice that we have this in So. Florida.

            1 Reply
            1. re: YonaShyml

              went a couple of weeks ago with the family who were visiting from overseas. first impression on walking in - it is small and did not generate a great ambiance. was really surprised they do not have outdoor seating considering the intra-coastal location - great opportunity missed. the food was good, but not great. liked the tableside mozzarella, we got a couple, my fave was dolce (see above). rest of the food was ok, nothing special, dessert was disappointing, and defo not rushing back there.