Best Casual Italian 2014
May 2, 2014
GOLD: CAMPAGNOLO ROMA
Silver: La Buca| Bronze: Campagnolo | Honourable Mentions: Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca, La Pentola della Quercia
Campagnolo Roma (Gold) is this city's premier casual Italian, stated one judge: "cheap, easy, relaxed." Among the Roman-fare inspirations, the daily beer/pizza special is a regular temptation that fills a sweet spot on the East Side. Simple is best: go for the margherita, the olives and anchovies, or the fennel sausage. Get them to crack an egg on top of your pie for a buck. La Buca (Silver) warmed hearts this year, with one judge calling it "one of those perfectly at-home neighbourhood spots." More than a few celebrations have been bolstered by a chef-curated tasting menu in this room, and in the heat of summer, there's something deeply satisfying about starting things off with Campari sodas and prosecco cocktails. Campagnolo (Bronze) is another trailblazer that stayed on course this year. "There's a remarkably wide-ranging choice of rustic, northern Italian fare," explained one judge, plus "these guys are another serious driver of the nose-to-tail movement."