Campagna – The Bedford Post Inn First Visit

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Did you know that the wait is finally over? Although we were lucky enough to visit on the first weekend of the restaurant’s long anticipated opening, that is often a set up for service blips. To the contrary, this fine dining experience was worthy of the Relais Chateaux property in which it resides, as both the food and the service were on the mark. Not much of the decor has changed from the original restaurant in the dining room but what is taking place in the kitchen has had a revelation!

Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here, coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for WCC to share with you from a wonderful meal. Being a food writer in Westchester, I have many favorite restaurants and chefs but it is always nice to visit a newcomer to the dining scene during the hype of its opening. We can only hope that a spectacular class may take place this fall at this stunning location – fingers crossed. Back to dinner…

This was our first glimpse of Michael White’s new restaurant Campagna in Bedford and worthy of a share. I had been continually checking Open Table since June to see when the reservations would stick. Ca-ching I felt as though I had won the lottery for Sunday dinner!

My only negative was it was a bit too dimly lit as I like to see all the components of my plate especially when the food is this good. But it was light enough in the dining room to spot a food celeb or do I just have a honing device? Care to guess…

Altamarea Group and Chef Michael White, in partnership with Bedford Post Inn owner, Richard Gere, opened the property’s flagship restaurant, Campagna, a few weeks ago. This restaurant serves Italian cuisine reflecting the country setting of the Inn and highlighting seasonal and local ingredients. Executive Chef PJ Calapa will oversee Campagna and the “day to day” will be taken care of by Chef di Cuisine Devin Bozkaya. It is well known that Richard Gere can usually be seen at the Inn on any given occasion. This only adds to the intrigue of this special and lovely location.

The menu reflects an Italian mainstay but is not strictly Italian and all dishes are prepared with a twist of some kind. You will not find chicken parm or baked ziti and definitely no red checked tablecloths. There are several pasta offerings all with interesting components.IMG_5100Rotolo-bolognese bianco, kale, parmesan was light and delicious with a veal base sans tomato sauce. The pasta sheets are layered with meat sauce and rolled then sliced and baked.IMG_5099Polpo-charred octopus, pork belly, pinto beans, chickpeas, mint was one of the diners favorite dish of the night. The addition of crisp pork belly enhanced the beautifully charred octopus. The mint was light and not overpowering. IMG_5098Creste Nero-shrimp, squid, scallop, Calabrian chillies, tarragon was a thoughtful dish, sent out by the chef for us to try. It was filled with so much flavor it is almost hard to describe. It was spicy yet mild, with a lemon essence offsetting the salty taste of the seafood within. The toasted crumbs were a crunchy touch adding texture to every bite.IMG_5101As expected all pasta is made in house. This was an extruded pasta made with squid ink. It was an interesting shape – creste di galli means cockscomb.IMG_5104Anatra-Long Island duck breast, fall fruit mostarda, hazelnut was cooked perfectly by serving it medium rare. We loved the nutty crust paring well with the richness of the duck meat. We longed for a more rendered, crispier skin but think then the hazelnut flavor might have been compromised. The greens were bright and flavorful with the mostarda’s tartness. Mostarda is an Italian condiment usually made of candied fruit and a mustard flavored syrup enhanced by wine. IMG_5103Bistecca-NY strip, bone marrow panzanella, roasted onion, red wine sugo, aged balsamic was absolutely seared to perfection and simply served with roasted garlic and parsley. The parsley cleanses the palate to enhance the next bite of the rich flavorful steak. Delicious!IMG_5102Filetto-filet of beef, bone marrow crust, pomme puree, porcini sugo was spectacular in its presentation. Our pickiest diner approved of its intense beef flavor coupled by the tenderness of the filet. The crust was a very different presentation and its salty crispness enhanced the taste. IMG_5106Dessert selections by Pastry Chef Jim Eckler reflected the season. For our friend’s birthday they etched Happy Birthday on a chocolate wafer propped up on a lovely and original rendition of Tiramisu. Although not traditional in presentation or texture it hit the mark on all the flavors of this Italian dessert.

Thank you Michael White for refreshing the restaurant in the most beautiful northern Westchester Inn. We are excited to have you here. The Inn also has a less formal restaurant downstairs that will be serving breakfast and lunch including a Sunday brunch. Watch for the reopening.

My wish is that you will be able to get a reservation soon!

Go to: Campagna at The Bedford Post Inn, 954 Old Post Road, Bedford , NY 10506, 914-234-6386

Open for dinner Wednesday thru Friday from 5:30-10pm, Saturdays from 5-10pm and Sundays from 5-9pm.

 

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About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of “Chef’s Tip”, Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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