Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Campo

Quick recap for anyone just joining us now: I'm on Spring Break, and my parents and I are doing a bit of a road trip through California to see family and friends. This past weekend, we were in Topanga Canyon (read about it here), and now we're at Mammoth Mountain.

But more about Mammoth later! I want to tell you about food!

Tonight was our last night in Mammoth, and I've been craving pizza lately, so we decided to go to Campo. There is another Campo in Reno, and the chef recently decided to open another in Mammoth. Good move, mister chef. Good move.


We walked in the door from Mammoth Village and immediately spotted this wood-burning pizza oven... then the smell of baking pizza hits our noses. My mouth was watering before we were even seated, which is how it should be, I think!


There were plenty of options that all sounded absolutely delicious. One of their dishes that I'd read a lot of rave reviews about was their "Bee Sting" pizza--which is salami, serrano, mozzarella, grana, and honey. Unfortunately, I don't eat meat, and my parents weren't feeling brave enough to try the honey, so we did not get to sample that.


Our waitress delivered some focaccia and olive oil/balsamic vinegar while we deliberated over the menu. While it looked delicious, the focaccia was not as flavorful as we had hoped. However, it took the edge off our hunger while we perused the menu! (That's my dad's finger sneaking into the picture, trying to nab a piece of focaccia before I was finished photographing!)

We eventually decided on two appetizers to split: the roasted cauliflower and the roasted shishito peppers.


I love cauliflower, and I especially love garlic, so I was really hoping it'd taste as good as it sounded. The verdict? I liked it, though my mother thought the garlic overpowered the cauliflower. Regardless, we ate the lot--we're plate cleaners!


Now, I had to quickly google what shishito peppers are, so I had no idea what to expect when it came to the second appetizer. Shishitos are about jalapeño-pepper sized, with a very mild kick to them.

Our peppers were served in a little cast-iron plate and they looked amazing. Part of that came from the fact that they were covered in oil... in retrospect, I think they should have been drizzled with oil, not dunked. However, we each picked one up by the stem, dunked it in the sea salt and lemon dressing (sort of like an aioli), and ate the pepper whole. They were really quite good! Not a typical appetizer at many restaurants, so it was a very nice change. There were plenty of peppers for the three of us, and I think many more could have shared.

Then, almost as soon as we finished the last peppers, our entrées arrived.


I got a Margherita pizza--pretty standard Italian food. Campo proudly claims that they are a member of the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association, which means that their pizza is authentically Italian.

The crust of my pizza was thin and cooked very well, with very little ash on the bottom. The basil was fresh, the cheese delicious, and the sauce was a great base. My only complaint was the arranging of the pizza. There wasn't quite enough basil, and there were places around the edges that could have done with more cheese. However... I still gobbled a few slices up!


My mother got the risotto of the day. It was a pretty basic risotto with camembert, sweet peppers, and a bit of bacon. She was ambivalent about it. The risotto was likened to rice pudding, but she still got her leftovers packaged up! There was a lot of rice in that bowl--every time my mom took a bite, the remaining risotto would flow and fill its place. Consequentially, it looked like she'd eaten very little, even though she took the level of the rice down about an inch. Solid food, but not-so-great presentation.


My dad ordered the wild mushroom pizza. Obviously, it had wild mushrooms on it, but it also had bacon, toma cheese, garlic, and an egg. He really enjoyed it! Of course, he really enjoys bacon and eggs on the weekend, so that was a given. My dad liked the crust a lot, as it was nice and thin, with a good crisp, while maintaining a softer inside.

Again, I'd like to note the displacement of the mushrooms and bacon... still uneven in parts! It might just be me being a nitpicker, but I think it made both pizzas seem a little thoughtless.


We soaked up the very pleasant ambiance after our plates were cleared away, politely declined dessert (boo) and got our check delivered in an old book... which, of course, my mother scoffed at. "It's a rubbish book, Katherine. Ruth Rendell is a much better writer."


Even cooler, people use the books as guestbooks. My favorite entry was one couple who wrote their name, the date of their visit, and "First Date Success!" I aww'ed and my dad scoffed. Regardless... here's to hoping it's working out for them!

Since everyone else was writing something, I thought it'd be an appropriate time for some shameless self-promotion...



With our leftovers in hand, we left Campo full and happy. If/when we're back in Mammoth, we will certainly be dining there again.




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