Chef Steven Acosta Unveils New Menu at da Campo Osteria

da Campo
Chef Steven Acosta
After several years of cooking for some of Miami's most well-known hotel restaurants, including Cascata Grill at Turnberry Isle and the former Solea at the W Hotel in South Beach, chef Steven Acosta has returned to Fort Lauderdale's Il Lugano Hotel to take over the kitchen at da Campo Osteria.

Since rejoining the culinary team several months ago, Acosta -- who helped to open da Campo in 2008 -- has revamped the menu, redefining pastas and meats, and introducing an abundance of fresh, new flavors.

"I've created a few new dishes, but really, I refined the entire menu," Acosta says.

Although the menu still represents northern Italian cuisine, the dishes aren't the traditional take, Acosta insists. Instead, he's given them his own twist, taking a classical French education and fusing it with the basic principles of the Latin cuisines representative of his heritage.

The new menu includes a chicken parmesan you've never seen before, and suckling pig cannelloni.

Acosta is half-Costa Rican, half-Cuban and has fond memories of his grandmother's cooking. Specifically, the traditional Costa Rican dish of arroz con pollo, or chicken with rice and beans, served with a side of potato chips. From his Cuban side, it's memories of roasting a whole pig with his father, something he does now with his three sons at his Miami home.

"It's cliche to say my love of cooking began in the kitchen with my grandmother, but really, where else could it start?" Acosta says. "I remember her telling me to always use fresh ingredients. That was my first lesson."

His grandmother would also go shopping at the local markets, buying from small vendors where produce was vibrant, flavorful and fresh. Today, Acosta takes a similar approach, buying locally -- including a whole pig from a nearby Hialeah farm -- fueling a passion for simple, high-quality ingredients that now define the new menu items he's introduced at da Campo.

"I love the simplicity of Italian food," said Acosta. "It's straightforward. You start out with good ingredients, and the dish makes itself."

Location Info

Da Campo Osteria

3333 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

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