Along Manchester’s historic Elm St. are two sister restaurants, both locally sourced with farm to table ingredients: Republic and Campo Enoteca. While Republic is more Mediterranean, Campo Enoteca has an Italian flair, specifically focusing on Roman cuisine. Both restaurants have a reputation of excellence because of the high quality of the ingredients they use, coming from local farmers for everything from meats to cheeses to vegetables and fruits.
Having fallen in LOVE with the yolky yellow Roman carbonara last year, a dish with four ingredients aside from pasta, of course I was eager to try a local place that names ROMAN carbonara on their menu, and they even make a point of noting that it does not contain cream, which is important. It is typically made with four ingredients……egg yolks, guanciale, hard cheese, and pepper. In fact it’s just a small step up from the even more basic cacio e pepe.
What a way to win my heart! I was seated in the window in an adorable table for two. The light was gorgeous. My server informed me of a great lunch special they have where you can choose any half-size pasta with one of two choices of salads for $10. WOW! The half size of the carbonara pasta that I was going to order anyway was $13 just by itself so that is an amazing deal.
I started with a Limoncello spritzer, and then my server brought out some bread and dipping oil! The bread was very nice and spongy, and the Parmesan was so nice that I was trying to fish out the little pieces. YUM! I never saw oil this way offered in Italy, but I do know that this is common and expected in many American Italian restaurants.
Pasta and salad! It’s the perfect lunch! The “Organic Roman” salad is what you might call a Caesar salad, and the parmesan dressing, the parmesan crisp, the lettuce, was all amazing.
The Carbonara Pasta was surprising to me and not like what I had in several places in Rome, but I appreciated Campo Enoteca’s own spin that they put on it. Every place is different, right?
The pasta was very obviously homemade and high quality and I enjoyed the very flavorful local cheeses.
For a $10 lunch, this was very, very filling and you can’t go wrong for the food value–I mean WOW, $10 for local, fresh, organic food expertly prepared and served? It’s amazing. I would go back again for this pasta & salad deal.