Dinner at Del Campo
We've been wanting to try Del Campo since seeing that it was named one of the best new restaurants nationwide by Esquire, as well as some very good local reviews.
Perhaps a Sunday night in January is not the best time to judge a restaurant, but last night's dinner was very disappointing. The disappointment is partly based on the price -- this is an expensive restaurant, with most entrees being mid-$30's and up, and served with no sides.
Two apps -- the grilled octopus and the skirt steak empanadas -- were both good, but not great. Both were highly recommended by the waiter as "outstanding" examples of the kitchen's best. I liked the empanadas better than the octopus -- they give you four nice sized ones, which they should for $16.
Wife had the seared flounder which was good -- not great. I tried it and liked it less than she did. I had the short ribs which were very good. We had the roasted Brussel sprouts which were pretty good. They serve very good girdled, smokey bread and have this smokey salt and olive oil that they put on the table -- they're very good.
All in all, it was good, not great, and for what it cost us, it should have been great.
It does seem like the prices have gone up since they opened (or that they had cheaper cuts of meat when they first opened).
I had a great meal there this year for Restaurant Week. For $35, I thought it was a great meal, but that was a significant savings over menu price. I agree that it didn't seem like a value at full price.
I have to agree with you. We went last summer with a big group so we ordered a pretty large sampling of the menu. Everything was pretty good, but for the prices and amount of hype this place as had, it did not live up to expectations.
We probably wouldn't go back.
I was drawn back to Del Campo by something new on the menu: Smoked Sea Urchin Angel Hair, Local Crab, Sevruga Caviar. The pasta sauce was not the right color and did not have much sea urchin flavor (definitely no smokiness). The crab was fresh but it's not the star of the dish. I wouldn't order this again at Del Campo.
For my main, I ordered a 10 oz hanger and a side of grilled rapini. They threw in a side of fat (marrow), which I smeared over the smoked bread and smoked olive oil. Maybe because I'm watching over my arteries, but I'm so over bone marrow served as an appetizer. Unseasoned, it's just a lump of fat.
The hanger was nicely cooked but it was nevertheless a little chewy. The broccoli rabe, on the other hand, was alot chewy. I feel like I need multiple stomachs just to digest the greens. My steak also came with 2 sauces: malbec and chimichurri.
It's not a rave review but for some reason, I just love the fact that everything is grilled here and you can usually taste it.
Worldwide - I admire your pursuit of the perfect sea urchin pasta dish. If you ever get the chance, check out Tocqueville in NYC or any of the L'atelier De Joel Robuchon branches for a fantastic version.