Situated along Cedarburg's cozy main drag, lined with the historic buildings that make the small town so famous, is an addition with a big-city connection. It's called Camille's Trattoria, and it's owned and operated by the folks behind the swanky Milwaukee Third Ward eatery, Sauce.
Camille's, serving up meals of the Nuovo-Italian variety, resides in a modest historical Victorian style house sitting on Washington Avenue. We decided to pay this Italian abode a visit to see just how well these big city restaurateurs are fairing in the small town arena.
It was a beautiful summer evening as we walked up to Camille's doorway. We could see that not only had the residence been newly painted in a golden brown and vivid navy blue trim, the front yard had been converted into patio seating, very popular by all appearances since the patio was full. As we walked inside we were greeted cheerily by the host and promptly seated upstairs.
The restaurant is sectioned into two areas, a smaller dining room and bar on the ground floor and a larger dining room on the second floor. Immediately we could see influences of a sophisticated flavor in the décor, with saffron gold painted walls accented by modern artwork and photographs. The second level dining area featured tables with white linens centered around a modern steel and glass fireplace. The minimalist style gave the house an eclectic and unique air when mingled with the historical features of the home and antique furniture that adorned the rooms.
As we took our seat we were pleasantly surprised by the sound of live violin music wafting from the level below. Our server quickly brought us water and small loaf of warm bread and butter. In addition, the tables were set with small bottles of herb-infused oil, which we unfortunately failed to notice until the bread was almost gone.
We started with an appetizer of Eggplant Parmesan ($7). The appetizer came with about seven strips of breaded and fried slices of eggplant garnished with melted mozzarella and marinara sauce. The strips had a slightly soggy texture but a delightful flavor and we were able to finish the entire dish.
We then shared the night's special salad ($10) comprised of mixed greens tossed in a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and two large grilled shrimp. The salad was fresh and cool, a wonderful start on a warm summer eve.
For our main course, we tried the Shrimp Alfredo ($17), served in a modern white bowl designed to stand on its rim while resting on a plate. The linguini in the dish was tossed in an Alfredo sauce with roasted garlic, asparagus and tomatoes and topped with Asiago cheese and four large Gulf shrimp. Although the dish was butterier and less creamy than expected, it was tasty and beautifully presented. My companion had the night's special fish ($18), a sautéed filet of Turbot served on a bed of seasoned rice with fresh green beans on the side. The dish was simple, the best way to serve this type of fish, and well prepared although not overly exciting for the price.
For dessert we tried the Tiramisu ($5), ladyfingers layered with an espresso pastry cream and drizzled with chocolate. The dessert was a bit different than a traditional Tiramisu with Marscapone cheese, but rich and satisfying all the same.
We've found that Camille's has begun to make a name for itself in this historically minded town. It's a nice and easy getaway for city folk looking for a little peace and fresh air, and has already become a readily accepted hot-spot with the locals. The fare is a bit pricey when considering the food alone, but overall worth the trip, wherever you're coming from.
Camille's also serves lunch with a menu consisting mainly of appetizers, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Sundays are brunch only, the menu specializing in a variety of frittatas and benedicts. For hours (subject to change) or to make reservations call the restaurant at (262) 474-0057. Camille's Trattoria is located at W61 N497 Washington Ave., in Cedarburg.