I went to Del Campo last night after hearing mixed reviews. It was Restaurant Week, so for $35.13, it’s one of those places you want to check off your list because of its regular overly-priced menu.
One of two bars at Del Campo in Penn Quarter.
But as I’m flying to New Orleans – where salacious, southern Creole food and hot new restaurants await — this wanna-be South American meat parlor is hardly worth writing about.
There are 3 things to note about Del Campo.
1. Square rolls. A little Cosi “squagel”-like, the square dinner rolls are delivered in a steamy and oiled, black iron skillet before the meal. I appreciate when restaurants put a new twist on the pre-dinner bread basket, and Del Campo impressed me with the individual pours of warm olive oil at each place setting.
2. The chimichurri sauce. I ordered the Piedmont Ridge hanger steak, which was cut to a perfect portion and sliced in bite-size pieces. The chimichurri came on the side in a mini steel pitcher. The parsley chunks balanced fresh oregano, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and red pepper flakes as a decadent garnish and even better finish.
3. The wine director. Ask for Morgan when choosing your wine. She picked a beautiful Argentinian smokey Cab for the table and really seemed to know her South American wine.
The service and ambiance were a little misplaced, and the menus extremely annoying with soft leather covers that are heavy and flop around as you try to turn the pages — not to mention how hard it is to pass them across the table without knocking over someone’s wine.
Del Campo will satisfy the Chinatown chain-loving crowd, but a serious foodie can easily forgo a second visit.