In Europe, Midsummer is typically celebrated around the end of June, during the Summer Solstice. Often, games are played, music and dancing are enjoyed, and feasts celebrating the seasonal bounty are consumed.
On August 6, Campagnolo Restaurant (1020 Main Street) will host its own Midsummer Night dinner. The annual event will feature ingredients sourced that day from the neighbouring Main Street farmers market and wines from Masi Winery.
At a media event on July 16, I had the chance to preview the Midsummer Night dinner; however, because the August 6 menu will be created based on ingredient availability that day, I was told that dishes will not be identical.
Campagnolo owner and chef Robert Belcham, who also owns Campagnolo Roma and Campagnolo Upstairs, explained that dishes will be served family-style and paired with a white, rosé, and red wine from the Italian producer.
During the media preview, appetizers included a raw tuna and watermelon dish, a summer salad, and Fontina cheese fritters served with an apricot agro dolce dipping sauce. My favourite was a green pea bruschetta—a creamy light-green mix of peas, ricotta cheese, and mint that exemplified summer.
Since Campagnolo is an Italian restaurant, diners can expect to see one or two pasta dishes on the menu at the Midsummer Night dinner.
Main dishes that consist of cooked proteins and vegetables also make good use of the local farmers’ market offerings. During the preview, grilled beef was paired with snappy green ramps, salmon was dressed with a tarragon emulsion, and grilled summer squash makes the perfect accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.
Ingredients for the Midsummer Night dinner are sourced from local Crisp Organics, Cropthorne Farms, Maan Farms, Shalefield Organic Gardens, and Solefood Farms, which are often at the Main Street farmers market.
Tickets to Campagnolo’s Midsummer Night dinner are $79 (including dinner, wine, tax, and gratuity) and are available for purchase online.