The champagne bar at Campiello was abuzz on a Tuesday summer evening at 5:30 p.m. And why not? French champagne Perrier Jouet was going for $5 a pop. We sank our noses into the froth and breathed deeply. While the bright citrusy notes are more acidic than I prefer in my champagne, this is luxury sipping on the cheap. The fountain trickled musically, fellow Neapolitans clinked champagne flutes laughing – another perfect summer evening. Although we were reluctant to surrender our garden spot, we'd come for the $28.95 early dinner special from 5 to 6 p.m.
We began with the fiori di zuchini fritti from the Liguria regional menu: fried zucchini blossom tempura stuffed with fluffy ricotta at $14. Flash fried to perfection and dusted with Parmesan the pillowy puffs of creamy cheese gave way with a delicate crunch, lovely with the champagne.