By Kim Fuller Published in the Vail Daily
An Italian chef once told me, “food is love.” What a delight it was this week to be reminded of that fact again. La Nonna Ristorante in Vail Village is now open in the space that was previously Campo de Fiori. It’s been a few days now since my meal, but I still keep thinking about that pappardelle.
Chef-owner Simone Reatti was inspired by his grandmother to follow his passion for the craft, and Reatti’s authentic family heritage lives on at La Nonna. With partners Mira Hozzova and Luc and Liz Meyer, Reatti is bringing Vail some of the best Italian food the town has seen in a while.
Reatti was the chef at Campo for two decades. Change in ownership and a significant renovation has given the space bright new energy and an inspired spirit.
Hozzova was with Campo for 16 years. She said the vision for La Nonna is to reinvigorate the soul of the space while offering the community a place for connection and some wonderful Italian food.
“We didn’t realize how much people missed us until we closed,” Hozzova said. “The support has been overwhelming and really just showed us that we have something special. We are so excited to provide new opportunities for people to create memories and build relationships over great food and wine.”
The most notable menu change Reatti has made is that every pasta coming out of the newly renovated kitchen is homemade. From gnocchi and ravioli to rigatoni, spaghetti and more, the texture and flavor combinations of every pasta dish have no doubt been perfected over many years — generations of experience passed down to Reatti from la nonna.
“La Nonna is Italian for grandmother,” Hozzova said. “Simone’s grandmother inspired him to be a chef; she was a chef. For Simone, for me, it’s all about family.”
The first course options hit home, from the baby romaine Caesar with house-made dressing and crispy pancetta to thinly sliced carpaccio cipriani topped with a mound of arugula and Parmesan. Meat and seafood dishes round out the menu in the Secondi section, with offerings like Colorado lamb chops, beef tenderloin in a Barolo wine reduction, scaloppine dello chef and cioppino — fresh seafood in a tomato saffron broth.
From its fresh debut to every ounce of earned experience, La Nonna is paying a most tasty tribute to the best elements of family, tradition and food.
“It’s humbling to know and see what we have created,” Hozzova said. “We wanted to keep what was good and what people loved. The food here has always been good, but we are really taking it up a notch.”