What a wonderful experience to be served an unusual meal, in a pleasant setting, with high-quality ingredients!! That’s in a nutshell the experience we’ve had at Tigelleria, a nine-month old establishment close to downtown Campbell. It’s easy not to notice it if you don’t know where it is, but once you enter you’re handsomely rewarded by a nice ambiance and delicious, modern Italian food!
Tigelle are small warm flat bread (well, technically a tigella is the tool you use to make them, but in current Italian we refer to tigelle as the bread!) typical of the area around Modena. Till recent years it was rare to find them outside their area of origin, but today they travel far- to California, nonetheless! They are traditionally served with a board of salumi, charcuterie assorted cold cuts, from prosciutto to coppa and pancetta and porchetta and salame and… you get the idea! You take a tigella, slice it in half, fill it with your choice of cured meat and cheese, and then enjoy- a wonderful treat the Tigelleria embraces to the tee, with “bottomless” tigelle and wonderful quality cuts. while you’re waiting for your order, fresh tigelle are taken to your table with a mix of spreads- on our visit it was a black olive tapenade, an eggplant mix, and a carrot spread. Quite delicious!
This is informal dining at its best. It may seems like you’re just getting a snack, but tigelle, just like piadine, eaten like this are considered a full dinner meal. And what a meal! Tigelleria carries some salumi that are hard to find, like the delicious smoked speck, which we ordered on the Bruschette Speck e Cipolla as an appetizer. What a treat!! The bread was lightly rubbed with garlic and charbroiled, and the mix of smoky speck and sweet baked onions was truly impressive.
We then waited a bit to get our main course- the trio palette, featuring a combination of salumi, grilled vegetables and cheeses. What was on it? well, just about everything: prosciutto di parma, prosciutto cotto, coppa, pancetta, speck, porchetta, mortadella, finocchiona (a salame with fennel seeds), crescenza, mozzarella di bufala, gorgonzola, provolone, asiago, fontina, pecorino, caciotta, flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano sprinkled with aged balsamic vinegar, grilled zucchini and eggplants and porcini mushrooms, and a selection of spreads including orange blossom honey, fig preserve, sun dried tomato, and tapenade. Need I say more?
What a wonderful dish!! What delicious flavors!! Not to mention the small cacciatorino, a small fresh salame the chef sent our table, served with a wonderful chestnut spread- a feast!
Twenty tigelle later, we were quite filled- and wonderfully satisfied!! They also brought us a small dish of Nutella to finish off our tigelle basket- a sign of love, if you ask me! Although this is not a meal for every day, it is a wonderful way to enjoy Italian conviviality at its best- in fact, the owners encourage their patrons to enjoy the time they are at the table, and “take it slow” (their service is for sure not one that will wow you, but it’s part of the experience!). A member of Slow Food, a fully organic restaurant, this small husband-and-wife venture brings a piece of Emilia to downtown Campbell!
PS: In the interest of full disclosure, I ma going to start posting a picture of the check whenever I can. Here’s our total at Tigelleria: $74.69 before tip for a dinner for two.