When I ask people what they look for in a place to dine, the answers are usually ‘somewhere with a good view’ or ‘a peaceful setting’. So, when I decided to try a restaurant on a busy road in the centre of town, I thought to myself it would be neither of these!
However, looks can be deceiving! Campanario is an established restaurant and has been in operation for 27 years so they must be doing something right.
Campanario is in what used to be an old town house. Despite being a lovely, deep blue colour, the front is quite small and it can be easy to miss. However, there is a little entrance to a garden area. This is the part of the restaurant that IS peaceful, calming and is wonderfully well kept. All of the things that people look for when going out for a meal!
The tables were very well laid out, pristine, white table cloths and shining cutlery. There were neatly placed glasses and the steel-backed chairs with floral cushions fitted in perfectly with the setting.
The menu came, and there was a lot on it! The first item on the starters list took me back to the 80s, a prawn cocktail! The choices further down were a little more with the times. The fried camembert and spicy beef salad stood out for me.
Moving on to the mains, there were 19 different beef dishes! Astonishing! Besides the usual favourites of black Angus rib-eye and T-bone, there was a variety of fillet steaks served with different sauces. Classics such as steak Diane and steak with pepper sauce to dishes such as Tournedos Rossini (beef fillet with pate and madeira sauce), beef wellington and stroganoff! It seemed like quite an eclectic menu.
Never fear if you don’t fancy beef. There were a few chicken and seafood options. You might be in a spot of trouble if you are vegetarian though. You would either have to order a selection of starters or the ‘vegetarian dish of the day’. If you are vegan, I’m afraid there are no options. Perhaps the Cyprus salad but without feta?
I had a sneaking suspicion that Campanario’s speciality was beef so decided to order steak, selecting the rib-eye while my partner opted for the pepper steak.
The wine list was mind boggling. Countless wines were on the menu covering every price range. Imported wines, local wines, different grape varieties. Wow! It made me wonder if they actually have a bottle of everything listed on the menu! If so, they must have quite a large cellar tucked away somewhere. The waiter told me that they have around 80 different wines on the menu. We thought we’d stick to what we know and ordered a bottle of Argyrides Maratheftiko.
The food arrived and I must say, I was very impressed with the portion size. My partner’s steak was small but very thick. The amount of sauce covering the steak was just right, no one wants their chips soggy because they’ve been swimming in cream! The sauce was done well too. A little peppery for me but exactly as my partner wanted it. My steak looked juicy and was cooked exactly as I had asked for it. I was very pleased. The menu boasts home-grown vegetables are served with all dishes. However, I think the jury is out on that one. Nonetheless, they were still cooked well and had a good amount of crunch to them.
Full of meat and wine, we were unable to comprehend the idea of dessert so asked for the bill. Although we’d seen the prices on the menu, it only sunk in how reasonable they were when we got the bill. Especially when you take into consideration the portion size and the quality of the food – you get a lot more value for money than you would at some local steakhouses and the quality was just as good.
I’d like to go back to Campanario and try some of the other dishes on the menu. I’m thinking winter, when the weather is cooler, a beef wellington with mash would go down a treat!
SPECIALTY International (beef)
WHERE Campanario, Nikodimou Mylona 10, Larnaca
WHEN Monday to Saturday 6.30-11pm
CONTACT 24 626110
HOW MUCH €17-€20 for steak dishes