The Hippo


Jul 21, 2019








The owners of Republic, Edward Aloise and Claudia Rippee, open Campo Enoteca just down the street in Manchester. Emelia Attridge photo.

Campo Enoteca

969 Elm St., Manchester

Roman dining
Republic owners open Campo Enoteca blocks away


 Husband-and wife-team Edward Aloise and Claudia Rippee, owners of Republic in downtown Manchester, have opened a new eatery about 120 steps away from the Mediterranean hot-spot.

“We like the vibe downtown. We’ve been very successful with Republic downtown and we like being in the city center,” Rippee said. “It’s nice to be able to pop back and forth between the two and we believed — and it’s been true so far — that we’d be sharing the same customer base.”
Like Republic, Campo Enoteca is a restaurant inspired by the couple’s passion for European travel, sustainable food culture and urban community dining. Based on the style of a contemporary Roman wine bar, the restaurant is a first for Manchester.
“Campo means field or gathering place,” Aloise said. “This is how people in Rome eat.”
The menu is small, designed around urban dining trends with antipasti, crostini, pasta made in-house, salads and only four entrées.
“We’re also trying to set a standard. This city’s obviously changing, the demographic’s changing. People are looking at this downtown as a downtown, and I think our market expects similarity of what downtown urban dining is all about,” Aloise said. “It’s choice, flexibility in menu, fresh product — the bread coming out of the oven every day, the pastas made every day — and we are here, we’re a true Italian wine bar, we’re not an Italian American restaurant. … If you want veal parmesan that’s where you should go because you’re not going to get it here. Claudia and I, we’re trying to show this is the marketplace that we saw in our trips to Europe.”
“In Rome, Campo de Fiori is our favorite spot,” Rippee said. “By day it’s a vegetable market. By two o’clock they’re starting to break down and at 5 o’clock you’d never know it was a market by day. It’s wine bars and bakeries, just a big open space that people crowd into year-round.”
Aloise recommends using the menu at Campo Enoteca as a tasting palate, to start at the top and work your way to the bottom from a plate of charcuterie and cheeses to crostinis to a half order of pasta with a salad.
“The way to eat here is really to move yourself around and to share,” he said. “Definitely to share. You should have the intent of coming with somebody, or a group of people; you should come with the intent of spreading out.”
Diners start with Rippee’s bread.
“We’ve been going through a lot of it,” Rippee said. “The bread is basically my baby here. … It’s kind of riding the wave of what’s happening in the baking world right now. … The characteristics of it, you have the large holes in the crumb, and it’s got a very intense flavor and it has a long-lasting quality. I make it at home and just sitting out four or five days on the counter it’s still fresh.”
The round artisanal loaves are made through an entirely manual process without a mixer involved, and the only ingredients are water, salt, and flour with a wild yeast starter Rippee created. The dough goes through periods of resting and folding before baking, allowing for the fermentation process to begin in the dough (which helps to create those holes in the crumb, as well as flavor and freshness).
Like Republic, Campo Enoteca features locally sourced ingredients on the menu. The exceptions are in the Italian imported charcuterie and wines.
“The charcuterie is imported Italian, because we don’t have the capability of curing our own meats and we feel like the food system in Europe, or in Italy anyway, is a little more humane,” Rippee said. “We chose to buy the imported prosciuttos and coppa. We also have porketta, speck.”
Much of the staff at Campo Enoteca previously worked at Milltowne Grill, the restaurant Aloise and Rippee owned that was located in the airport. The decision to close Milltowne Grille and open Campo Enoteca seemed like a clear choice, they said, and because they already had trained staff coming from Milltowne, the new restaurant opened sooner than anticipated.
“It was inevitable that another restaurateur was coming downtown, so, might as well be us,” Aloise said. “We’re able to offer the marketplace something that complements Republic but doesn’t compete.”
There are certain similarities to Republic, though, Aloise said. 
“They’re both urban dining centers, and they’re both designed the way that people in urban centers eat — smaller plates, smaller portions, very fresh food,” he said. “We kept that same philosophy as Republic as far as locally sourced proteins — the chickens, the lamb, the beef are all locally sourced, as is the cream, the milk and the eggs.”
“People are making sure they hit both stores [Republic and Campo Enoteca]. It’s really wonderful,” Rippee said. “People have responded well — the way we look here, we have the same feel from the staff, they’re friendly, they’re well-trained, they’re knowledgable.” 
As seen in the May 22, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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