By Kim Fuller Published in EAT Magazine
Tucked back into one of Vail’s only Venetian-style alleyways, however, is the door to Campo De Fiori. Step inside and take the stairs leading to a European retreat, where painted vines reach up and around the cathedral-reaching, burnt orange walls, and soft lighting illuminates the restaurant’s rustic intimacy.
Executive Chef Simone Reatti is from the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy. He opened Campo De Fiori nearly two decades ago, and he’s still nearly always there to orchestrate what’s going on in the restaurant’s open kitchen.
Some of Campo’s dishes, like the ravioli funghi — or mushroom ravioli with white truffle oil — have been on the menu since the beginning, bringing back nostalgic palates year after year. Another menu classic, the frutti di mare alla griglia, or marinated and grilled seafood salad antipasti, highlights fresh ingredients and flavor.
To start, the burrata alla trevisana — creamy burrata cheese atop caramelized radicchio and Belgian endive — is a delicious start for
the table to share.
“You can be a great chef, but if you don’t have the good ingredients to start with, you are worthless,” says Reatti.
Certain mainstays on the menu aren’t going anywhere, he adds, though Campo brings in new dishes every season to keep taste buds talking.
Try the agnolotti di pesce, a homemade ravioli dish filled with shellfish, or the gnocchi ai gamberi, a well-balanced and hearty dish of potato dumplings, shrimp, cherry tomatoes and artichokes. The kitchen creates a daily risotto, too, done, delectably, al dente.
For a meat course, pair a glass of Piedmont Nebbiolo with the grilled Colorado lamb chops, served with polenta and a savory-yet-sweet balsamic fig reduction.
Forever Italian, Reatti says his heritage and culinary roots make
for a cooking style that can’t easily
“We are very particular about our coffee, our pizza, our tomato sauce, because we grew up with it,” he says.
Complete the experience with an espresso, or a glass of homemade limoncello, or eve a divine rendition of tiramisu swimming in a cup of decadent cream.
La dolce vita — the sweet life — is inevitable here, whether you’re at the bar or a family-sized table, a meal at Campo will wrap its arms around you.
“It’s not only the cooking, it’s the ambience and the service,” says Reatti. “Our people make you feel comfortable.”
Apps & salads:
A Tuscan treat
100 East Meadow Drive | Vail
970.476.8994 | campodefiori.net