The latest to take the risk here is Campagnolo, an Italian project of Maureen Kalmanson, who owns the Peasant downtown. ("Campagnolo means "peasant.") Kalmanson has done a masterful job remodeling the restaurant in minimalist style with low-key colors.
The menu includes antipasti, salads, pasta dishes (half or full-size portions) and entrees like lamb Marsala, trout with braised fennel, and a lemony roasted game hen. Three friends and I focused mainly on the pastas and starters.
Generally, the food by Chef Daniel Chance was straightforward and flavorful. It's not inexpensive and one serious warning: if possible, sit outside. The main area inside, across from the bar, is extremely noisy. There are tables down a short flight of stairs, near the kitchen, too. They are much quieter, but you will feel a little like kids being fed in the kitchen while the grownups eat in the dining room.
I'm guessing Kalmanson is going to effectively exorcise the building's demon with good food and fun ambiance. I'll be writing a "First Look" next week.
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