Saturday, August 30, 2008

Insanely Wonderful Dinner: La Campagne

La Campagne in Cherry Hill, NJ is a must for any Philly/NJ area foodie. It is a BYO serving "Continental Cuisine" in the style of Northern Italy and France.

This is where P's parents took us for dinner for his birthday. I trust their judgement when it comes to restaurants because they enjoy food just as much as we do. They had been there before and were very happy to be able to share it with us. All I can say is I am EXTREMELY glad they did. This is now my 2nd favorite restaurant...and that is saying a lot. Trust me. Everything from the ambiance in the dining rooms (it was in what appeared to be an old farmhouse so a few small rooms) to the service (very knowledgeable and polite) to the AMAZING food was wonderful.

P's parents brought the wine, Paraduxx which is always excellent and a Rosenblum Shiraz which is unusual b/c Rosenblum is a CA wine. For a couple years they had a partnership with an Australian winery to produce this particular Shiraz. Sadly, they do not do it anymore and it is a shame because it was so tasty.

We started off with Rome Point RI Oysters on the half shell with a mignonette sauce. The oysters were delightfully salty and buttery by themselves. The mignonette sauce cut the saltiness just enough to enhance the buttery flavor.

Next we sampled the 'cheese table' they had a wonderful assortment of local and imported cheeses. We ended up picking Carameaway; a soft cheese with caraway seeds, October Kaas; another soft cheese made with sheep's milk and a bit of raw cow milk. Both of those cheese were from a NJ farm called Valley Shepherd (I highly recommend a visit to their website if you are a cheese nut like me). The last one we picked was a huge hit, Blacksticks Blue from England. The cheeses were served with honeyed dates, fresh figs, balsamic strawberry sauce, sliced pear, apple and strawberries and little croutes. I already looked up the farm site so I can get the NJ cheeses. I will search high and low for the Blacksticks.

For an entree I had rack of lamb with potatoes Colcannon style and a pea and mint puree. It was heavenly. The lamb was so perfectly cooked and you could taste the greenness of the pea puree. The potatoes, you just cannot go wrong with them. :) My FIL ordered the same thing. P had the Magret Duck Breast. I heard it was good. ;) I didn't get a taste. My MIL had Salmon that came with a lemon risotto custard. I had a hard time passing that up. I also heard it was very good.

We wrapped up dinner with a trio of creme brulee (raspberry, coffee and vanilla bean) and for P a chocolate mousse cake. Also as mentioned earlier we were given house made limoncello.

It was a wonderful dinner and we had a lovely time. Anytime I can play a meal over in my head, wondering about how they came up with the combinations and wishing I could do the same, I know my whole body enjoyed the experience. I will definitely be going back. :)


Jen said...

hello fellow foodie. I am glad you enjoyed your dinner. It sounded divine, especially dessert.

L.R. M-J said...

Cheese course before the main dish? Aaakkk....Sacre Bleue....the frenchies will be coming with pitchforks shortly....err....make that cheeseforks.....should I tell you about my new jam/chutney making skills? Mint jelly?....

Cherlyn said...

That meal just sounds lush! I'm hungry now!