A guide to the best of the menu
Imagine stepping into a stylish Airbnb in the Italian countryside and finding a Michelin-starred chef hanging out in the kitchen. It’s the feeling I got when I sat down in Campo, a new neighborhood bistro owned by award-winning Valley chef Alex Stratta.
The space appears to have taken a 180 from its previous concept, Stratta Kitchen, a short-lived breakfast café with bright, minimalist art gallery vibes. Now, it’s a dinner spot with serious dating potential. Ancient landscape paintings in gilded frames hang next to funky potted ferns, giving the restaurant a vintage Mediterranean look that works best in the evening’s dim and candlelit lighting.
Alessandro “Alex” Stratta has tested a range of concepts since returning to the Valley in 2016 after a decade in Vegas where he won his restaurants two Michelin stars. The former Iron Chef and James Beard Award winner ran the kitchens at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa in Montelucia and Arizona Biltmore. He also checked out the FOUND: RE hotel before opening his second namesake Stratta restaurant in 2020 with Jeremy Pacheco of The Vig.
Judging by the healthy weeknight crowds and the simple, accessible food I tasted on my first visit, this new concept looks like it could be a winner.
What’s on the menu at Campo?
Earlier in his career, Stratta made a name for himself cooking French cuisine for renowned restaurateurs Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud. It is therefore logical that its Mediterranean-style cuisine draws inspiration from both French and Italian cuisines. However, Campo’s menu definitely fits into the Italian camp with an eclectic mix of antipastos and pasta dishes that use fresh durum noodles from the Sonoran Pasta Co.
Campo’s pizza is a force to be reckoned with. The team worked with Noble Bread to develop a unique blend of rye and wheat flours as well as Type 85 pizza flour for the dough, which is then baked in a Hearthstone oven until the sauce is set. fondue. The pies are a cheesy compromise between rustic Italian and decadent New York styles. The crust bubbles and bursts into a puff of soft bread that resists tomato sauce and generous particles of mozzarella, which is fat in the best possible way.
We ordered the Marco, which was topped with wide slices of Calabrian salami interspersed with Schreiner sausage crumbs and chunks of fresh basil. It was like a classic pepperoni with a hint of sophistication.
On the pasta menu, the Mafaldini Pescatore, with its abundance of delicacies from the sea in a light tomato broth, stood out among gems like a Bolognese lasagna and a bucatini with pancetta and cherry tomato confit.
The ribbon-shaped mafaldini noodles, some tinted black with squid ink, were loaded with lovely grilled shrimp and a generous portion of mussels and clams. The pasta maybe needed a little more salt or some other kind of heat, but the seafood itself was very high quality and plump.
Wild Mexican shrimp also made an appearance on the antipasti menu where they were. accompanied by a cast iron pan of melted polenta. Blessed with char from the grill, the beautiful prawns were buried in a garden of fresh herbs and slices of bitter radish. The polenta could have been creamier and a little thinner, but the prawns were there.
You don’t often find Michelin-starred chefs cooking affordable dishes like this every day of the week. Campo is a solid neighborhood choice in the Scottsdale Sea of excellent pizza and pasta.
Or: 8260 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale.
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Mondays. The restaurant plans to extend its hours in February and also open Mondays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: Antipasto $ 12 to $ 24; pasta $ 19 to $ 32; pizza $ 16 to $ 19; $ 26 to $ 48.
Details: 480-597-9195, campoitalian.com.