The first time Mister and I ate at Camino (still with a useless website), I liked it but I didn't love it. I loved the interior and the design, but I thought the dishes were overpriced and my entree was not good.
Mister, however, loved it and we've been back a couple of times with friends who read restaurant reviews and can't wait to go. We went with our friend Martha a few Sundays ago. She and I shared the liver on toast — mmmm. I keep saying I hate liver, but I know I love pate, which this was not. Chopped liver, a little creamy, spread on slabs of crisp toast. We also shared salad (pregnancy brain and lack of notes inhibits recall) before our entrees. The chicken with crusty beans for Mister and me, the whole fish for Martha. Nothing left on the plates. I avoided the polenta, my first-time Camino mistake. (It is crispy, but mine tasted days-old.)
Last weekend, we were joined by the Madleys. Though I think $3 for a shot of lemonade is too much, I have to acknowledge how good the lemonade is at Camino. Yum. I sipped mine while we played catch up in the bar. We brought eggs from the girls, some of the Oregon trip jam, and a jar of pickles from my most recent canning frenzy.
Dinner was, again, fabulous. This time, we had a little headcheese (so different from what I expected … less gelatin and more flavor), a tomato salad, bibb lettuce salad, and something else. Mister and I again had the chicken for dinner, this time with farro, broccoli rabe, and something else mixed in. Mrs. Madley had the tuna, taunting me with her ability to have some given she's not pregnant and is no longer breast feeding. Cruel, cruel taunts.
One of Camino's appeals is its sides to the main dishes. Mister and I need more fiber, more vegetables in our cooking, but I think we both have had our fair share of bean sides that are uninspiring. Camino's are not. I am ready to try creamy, crusty beans at home (using a recipe from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking). Another appealing aspect? The staff. Friendly, on top of things.
Just don't order the polenta.