Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Ariel Got A Job" Celebratory Dinner!

Raspberry Chambord Prosecco Cocktail.

After a long search, I was offered a job in the healthcare policy research field! AJ is almost as excited as I am. He took me out to Tigelleria, an organic Italian restaurant, to celebrate.

I made him get a girly drink.

Tigelleria is located in downtown Campbell, serving up authentic Italian fare using organic ingredients. You know you're in Northern California when even the Italian restaurants are going organic. We started off the evening with some cocktails. You can't celebrate without a little bubbly. My favorite sparkling wine is prosecco, so I went with their Raspberry prosecco cocktail. A combination of prosecco, chambord, and organic raspberries - this light, sweet, slightly tart beverage was a perfect way to start the evening.

Tigelle - small italian flatbread.

And now to the namesake - tigelle! Tigelle are small Italian flatbread, found in the Modena area in Italy. The bread was quite a treat - slightly sweet and warm, these pieces were unlike any I had tried before. They come served with a trio of accompaniments: olive tapenade, carrot puree, and a sun-dried tomato spread. My personal favorite was the olive - briny, textured, and extremely fresh.

Tigelle with sun-dried tomato, carrot, and olive spreads.

The restaurant focuses on a wonderful variety of Italian meats and cheeses, which pair well with the tigelle. AJ and I didn't try any charcuterie, but I did end up with some pork in my pasta, so I guess I ended up forsaking my mostly vegetarian lifestyle anyways.

Cheese please!

AJ adores eggplant, so he ordered their eggplant parmigiana right off the bat. It took me a little longer to settle on a dish. While I am always tempted to get gnocchi, I decided to branch out and ordered the Boscaiola. Ribbons of egg noodles are tossed with organic imported porcini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, cream, and what I learned later was smoked speck. I thought it was proscuitto, and it turns out it is actually very similar. Both are made from the hind leg of the pig, but speck is deboned before it is cured. Traditionally speck is cured with juniper, among other spcies. It is cold-smoked for many months before it is consumed.

Boscaiola, with organic porcini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, cream, and speck.

To the untrained pallet, speck tastes like salty, sweet proscuitto. The cream sauce was light and flavorful, taking on the garlic and shallot nicely. The ribbons of homemade egg pasta were satiny, rolling over my tongue. You really can't beat homemade pasta. The portions at Tigelleria are moderate. I felt full, but not busting at the gut. Which is how I prefer to feel when I dine out, and with smaller portions, you can show less restraint. It also helps save room for another cocktail or dessert.

Baked Eggplant parmigiana with potato, green bean, and tomato salad.

AJ was very pleased with his eggplant parmigiana. The thin layers of eggplant are baked in a personal dutch oven. While some restaurants heavily bread their eggplant, these were lightly breaded, giving it just enough crunch and flavor. The sauce had all the right elements, acidity, sweetness, seasoning. And don't let me forget the parmigiano reggiano! The waiter comes tableside to shave cheese onto your dish, should you like. The salad with AJ's dish, certainly took backseat to the eggplant, but it was simple yet well-prepared. The potatoes were cooked well, the beans crips, and the tomatoes perfectly ripe. Tossed in a simple olive oil and red wine vinegar, you won't be leaving anything on your plate.

Italian films play in the background, while I sip my cocktail.

Not only is the food charming, but so is the decor. The cozy dining area is surrounded by soothing blue walls and rich wood shelves, filled with wine bottles. Classical artwork gives the restaurant a distinguished feel, while the Italian films playing over the bar prevent the place from feeling pompous. I will certainly be coming back again.


76 East Campbell Ave
Campbell, CA


Malia said...

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! So proud of you and your new job! Can't wait to celebrate with you two in a week! :)

Gastronomer said...

CONGRATS on the new gig!! Your celebratory spread looked excellent, especially your pasta.

Theresa said...

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS you look so cute in the photo with the film in the background. :)

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a festive time. That was very nice of AJ to treat you to dinner and even drink a "girly" drink to celebrate your new job. The description of the eggplant made me nostalgic for Papa Louie's version which was delicious!

Ciao, bella,