I was in the restaurant biz for 20+ years and worked at some first class places. I also grew up in Reno but have lived in San Diego, Miami and Palm Beach. I work in downtown Reno for District Court now, and took my buddy to lunch here because we share the same birthday. She works for a major law firm and is new to the area so walking to Campo was a nice way to show her around. The place had a good crowd and we received a friendly welcome upon our arrival. Still, it's very much that big city, Euro style that became popular 15 years ago. Tables two feet apart, lots of hard surfaces and super noisy. I have never been a fan and frankly, have a hard time relaxing in such places. Nonetheless, the lunch menu was a refreshing change from what I usually encounter around town. The selections were seasonally appropriate and simple. At the server's suggestion, I started with the roasted cauliflower. It was a chilly Feb. afternoon so I was looking forward to something warm and garlicky without being heavy and I was not disappointed. Just the cauliflower roasted with olive oil, garlic and little bits of toasty bread perfectly seasoned. A very nice start, and the butternut squash soup with the Chile oil drizzle was truly outstanding. The muffeletta sandwich was light and tasty and came with some perfectly fried potatoes accompanied by a sweet aioli. No complaints there! The portions were just right and the prices fair. The service throughout was adequate but little else. I realize the server didn't know us as we are not part of that downtown elite he's used to but I expected more. When I asked if there were canolis on the dessert menu he made it clear that "Campo is not an Italian restaurant." Okay, my mistake but that was about all he offered then walked away. When he came back, I told him to surprise us which is when he said we had birthday dessert coming. Great! My friend and I said we'd split one. Just vanilla ice cream with a dripping of fudge and a delicious chocolate base. Really good but I was a little surprised that he charged us for it. If I had known, I would have ordered off the menu instead. I have a lot of friends who own great restaurants around town and I'm a pretty accomplished cook. Since I can make most anything I want at home, service is a huge deal for me. Being a server for so many years, I am very forgiving and generous too. I may go back to Campo because the food was delicious and maybe my next server will remember that he's a waiter in downtown Reno. He's not curing cancer and I'm not looking for a miracle. Just a decent lunch with pleasant service.
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