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NOT – Campo Dei Fiori – 278 Junction Rd, Clayfield.

Campo Dei Fiori had come highly recommended to me, rx not only for their filling, hospital home style Italian cuisine, but also their great selection of Italian wines.  Unfortunately this little house of flowers didn’t stack up to its reputation on this occasion, their food and service being very bland and underwhelming.

MM and I were on a very exciting mid-week double date with R & B who like us enjoy a big honest feed accompanied by a modest helping of wine and good comany.  The menu at Campo Dei Fiori certainly appealed to us all, with a great range of pizzas, pastas and typical Italian mains/secondi.  A specials board thrown in the mix made it all a very hard decision.

We decided to skip entrees as the serving sizes coming out from the kitchen looked very generous and we all felt it necessary to leave plenty of room for some dessert.  Whilst scanning the menu, we opened ourselves a bottle of red, fresh from R & B’s cellar.  The service at Campo Dei Fiori was a little vague and careless and the staff seemed particularly disinterested in taking our orders.  Eventually we got there, making a small ruckus to get their attention.

MM chose the gnocchi al pomodoro, home made with Napoli sauce and parmesan cheese ($20).  What arrived was a very large plate of big, round gnocchi lumps that were stodgy and gluggy, lacking any interesting flavour and looked to be re-heated in the microwave.  Enough said.

I opted for the fettuccini and spicy chorizo special in Napoli sauce with parmesan and olives ($24).  Again, a very large, inelegant helping arrived; the sausage chunks were too big and the Napoli sauce whilst perfectly spicy was otherwise bland.

R chose the other special of the day, the fettuccini with grilled Moreton Bay bugs in a Napoli marinara sauce with parmesan ($24).  The bugs were (thankfully) cooked well and had a nice sweet tasty flesh.  The Napoli sauce was obviously from the same pot out of which the previous two dishes came and toned down what could’ve been a delicious, punchy marinara dish.

B was the only one who chose from the extensive pizza menu, having the quattro stagioni with ham, salami, mushrooms, olive, tomato, mozzarella and cheese ($20.50).  The fluffy crusted, crispy based pizza was pretty nice, perhaps a little dry – lacking much in the way of sauce, but the flavours were nice and the toppings generous.

For dessert we all shared a blueberry panacotta and the lemocello ice cream (both $7).  I don’t like panacotta, but there was a general ‘meh’ from the table with regards to how this one stacked up.  The lemoncello (lemon sorbet coated in white chocolate) was in fact a hit – I’d almost go back for that alone, particularly on a hot summery day.

There’s something to be said for traditional home style, mamma’s kitchen type Italian cooking and I think that’s what we were expecting from Campo Dei Fiori.  We weren’t looking for dainty, mouse sized, perfectly presented meals but something with a little more authenticity, flavour and perhaps even a little love.

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Discussion

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  1. These comments are not really suitable for this restaurant, we have been going there for 16 years and it has always been fantastic, it seems to me that people that don’t know how to cook should maybe appreciate the work that has been put into these hearty and elegant meals.They are obviously used to frozen meals.

    Posted by Denise | September 18, 2012, 3:38 pm
  2. Thanks for your comments Denise, sorry you didn’t enjoy reading our review on Campo Dei Fiori; maybe we just got them on a bad night. It’s good to know they have received your support for so many years.

    Posted by CazM | September 24, 2012, 9:04 pm

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