Impromptu Italian Birthday!

So, Sunday was my birthday….it wasn’t a milestone one!  I turned 41…I kind of feel glad that I’m over the 40 hump! There’s so much hype and to-do as you approach your 40th….so I was glad this was just “another” birthday. Truly, I’m am really thankful for so much…an amazing hubby, happy & healthy kids, amazingly supportive friends, good health myself and that we are able to enjoy life! So, Sunday morning, Jason woke me up with my Americano from Starbucks and Justin Timberlake floor tickets for the concert in July! I’m super stoked! I’m not really a concert girl, but I’ve been saying for months that that will be a great one and I can’t wait! I was feeling pretty spoiled. Mac had a hockey tourney game in Richmond, about an hour away, at 2:15pm, so we didn’t really have concrete plans for the rest of the day. The girls and I dropped Jason and Mac off at the rink and headed to Pinkberry…fro-yo is one of my faves!!! Mac’s team played a fantastic game and Mac even scored a hat trick!! Just for my birthday!! It was about 4pm….I suggested we maybe just head home and Jason was like, no way…it’s your birthday! So, I remembered that a couple of my friends had told me about a great Italian restie in Vancouver, but you can’t make reservations. It was early, so I thought, why not try it out?  We had my niece and one of Berkeley’s friends with us and everyone was up for an adventure!!


Campagnolo serves up authentic Italian dishes in a modern almost industrial-like setting. Mac was really happy to be there!

We arrived as Campagnolo was opening, so it was perfect….getting a table for 7 was no problem!  But it filled up quickly! The menu had a lot of authentic Italian dishes.  By authentic, I mean, the menu reminded me of Italy.  And the decor was simple, modern and almost industrial.

We started by sharing three pizzas…the Margherita, the Salsiccia, and the Rosa.  Mac LOVED the Margherita, especially the mozza on it!  The girls really liked the Salsiccia…the fennel sausage and peppery arugula were SO good.  Jason and my fave was the Rosa….loved the pistachios and the dry cured pork loin.  This pizza didn’t have any tomato sauce but instead had some fragrant olive oil…the flavor was ah-mazing!


Pizzas!  The Margherita, the Salsiccia, and the Rosa.

We then ordered a couple of pasta dishes.  The girls shared the Cannelloni and Spaghetti.  Mac had the Spaghetti with some fennel sausage added…that dude likes his meat!  Jason had the Tagliatelle…the pork short rib was ridiculously good! I had the Rigatoni…the crispy kale added the perfect texture and complimented the truffled sausage and mascarpone cheese.  I liked that that everything was very fresh and cheeses and sauces were not overdone.  You could really taste the flavors of the ingredients.  The dishes were not huge…really the perfect portions….so we had room for dessert…and I had an idea!


Pastas! The Spaghetti with fennel sausage, the Cannelloni, the Tagliatelle, and the Rigatoni.

What would be the perfect finish to an authentic Italian meal???  GELATO!  I knew of a gelato place close by, so I Googled and found it!  La Casa Gelato was just around the corner and they have 218 flavors!  I’m not kidding you…this place is huge and has pretty much any flavor you can think of, including some unexpected ones like aged balsamic, avocado, black sesame and garlic!  They actually are the only shop in the world to carry 218 flavors at one time (they have a total of 518 in their repertoire!).  There was one flavor that I was looking for that they didn’t have….any guesses?


I love that you can pretty much sample whatever you like before you choose your flavor.  Lexi tried chocolate chili….it had some serious kick!  She went with apple pie and it really did taste like it with bits of crust and all!  I tried fig and almond and also chocolate salted caramel turtle.  They were both really good, but I caved in to my current peanut addiction and went with chocolate peanut butter.  Jason got chocolate Oreo, Dyl went with vanilla English toffee (she was upset she didn’t see the stracciatella before she chose), Berks got espresso chocolate flake, Jada tried the garlic, but wisely went with chocolate and nuts.  Mac had strawberry sorbet…..and yes, they do also have a selection of  non-dairy choices, frozen yogurt, sugar free and low fat options….but I say, hey, if you’re going to treat yourself, go for it!  It can be quite busy at La Casa Gelato, but they have quite the slick system.  You order a single ($5), double ($7) or triple ($9) and they give you the appropriately colored poker chip that you pass along to the “scooper” once you make your selection!

So, what’s my point in writing this?  Well, I’m not a very spontaneous type person…in fact, I pretty much have everything planned out just so.  I’m known as “the planner”.  But this weekend Mac was playing in a hockey tourney (bring the HEAT!), so it was all about going with the flow.  Life can be crazy busy, but I have to remind myself to seize those free moments and make the most of them….and this weekend we did!  Looking back, some of my most memorable moments are from doing something spontaneous!