Author's note: Joe Campanale has accomplished quite a bit for someone who hasn't even reached the tender age of 25. When he became a sommelier at Babbo, he was one of the youngest in the country. He holds an M.A. in Food Studies, the Diploma in Wines & Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, is a Certified Wine Educator by the Society of Wine Educators and is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Plus, he also does some food writing every now and again. Do you feel lazy yet? Sheesh. We managed to catch him while he was running back and forth between his two restaurants, so let's get to know Joe!
Last week you opened L'Artusi, your second restaurant in less than two years, correct? What are some of the things we'll see and taste at L'Artusi that we haven't experienced at dell'Anima? L'Artusi is our second restaurant in just over a year. It's a really exciting time for us! The new things available at L'Artusi are an assortment of crudo, an extensive cheese program, and in addition to my favorite Italian wines, we have wines from New York and Champagne, France.
Give me three things on the menu that are not to be missed on a first visit. Wagyu tongue bruschetta, any of the crudo, and walnut torta.
You've got a knack for putting together wonderfully unique wine lists. How do you find such gems? I work hard to find bottles that you might not usually see on wine lists. I think the key to actually being able to source these wines lies in my relationships with the importers and distributors. If you develop good relationships with your distributors they just might release their highly allocated wines.
Best pizza in the city? Nick's in Forest Hills.
Favorite burger? Spotted Pig.
Favorite bagel? Ess-a-Bagel.
Best late-night eats? Great NY Noodletown in Chinatown.
Undiscovered gem? Any street food in Jackson Heights.
Guilty pleasures? Black and white cookies.
Food you won't eat? Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Our pastry chef, Katherine Lahr, has amazing taste. She's never steered me wrong.
What's the best recommendation she has given you? Franny's Pizza in Brooklyn.