Al Campiello

Via Nazionale, 46

San Giovanni al Natisone (Udine) 33048

tel + 39 0432 757-910

September 2007

Al Campiello is one of my favorite places to eat in Friuli. The restaurant is located in the hotel of the same name right off the main road that connects Gorizia and Udine. Owner Dario Macorig runs the dining room with extraordinary passion and energy. His wine list is exceptional, especially in its selection of Champagnes and the harder to find wines of Friuli’s top producers. We started with a plate of assorted raw seafood which was exquisite. The sweet scampi were especially succulent. Our spaghetti was cooked perfectly al dente and was generously topped with shavings of bottarga, a delicacy made from dried grey mullet roe. For our main course we enjoyed a delicious, moist branzino (sea bass) roasted in a salt crust.

The 1996 Avize Grand Cru Extra Brut from Jacquesson was phenomenal. Unfortunately it was opened at least five years too soon. This tightly coiled, sinewy wine revealed superb depth and precision in its suggestions of white peaches, flowers and roasted nuts. It was an outstanding match for the raw fish. As the evening progressed the wine gradually became more and more expressive in a stunning display of elegance married to sheer power. The 2003 Sauvignon from Miani, one of my favorite producers, was incredibly intense. The heat of the vintage was very much in evidence in the wine’s richness, yet the aromatics and flavors were unmistakable in their varietal expression. The wine actually paired much better with our food than I expected. Its full-bodied, ample texture provided the perfect foil to the equally intense spaghetti alla bottarga. Dagueneau’s 2004 Pur Sang was painfully young. In theory we probably should have had this wine before the Miani, but the Pur Sang worked beautifully with the roasted sea bass. It revealed a delicate core of perfumed citrus, lime, minerals and flowers, with outstanding length and a lingering note of sweetness that framed the finish. This was another great night of delicious food, wine and company at Al Campiello. 


Seafood crudo

Spaghetti alla bottarga di muggine

Salt-crusted roasted branzino



Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru Extra Brut



Miani Sauvignon



Dagueneau Pur Sang


--Antonio Galloni