Vail’s Campo de Fiori celebrates 10 |

Vail’s Campo de Fiori celebrates 10

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
AE Campo de Fiori KA 7-25-07

If you don’t know where Campo de Fiori is, you may have trouble finding it, but once you step through the doors, you will know you’re in the right place. Despite being tucked away in one of Vail’s many nooks, the restaurant has flourished for a decade.

The 10 year anniversary was a celebration of good taste and realized dreams on Wednesday at Campo de Fiori, one of four restaurants with the same name started by husband and wife team Luigi Giordani and Elizabeth Plotke-Giordani. The staff welcomed guests with smiles as they climbed up the stairs leading to the authentic Italian restaurant’s spacious dining area.

These days the staff of Campo de Fiori have much to smile about.

“It’s been great,” said Giuseppe Bosco, the general manager of Campo de Fiori, who has been working for the restaurant since February of 2004. “I started as a waiter and worked my way up. It’s been an unbelievable experience working for these guys.”

This seemed to be the general sentiment among the staff. Yvonne Otero has been working there for one year and gives credit for the restaurant’s success to two things ” “The food is awesome, and it’s a beautiful place,” she said cheerfully.

A table with a large spread of hors d’oeuvers was set out for guests to enjoy ” pastries covered in a sweet tomato sauce, bruschetta topped with diced tomatoes, and risotto. To mark the occasion, a pastry cake topped with strawberries and pineapples in the shape of the number 10 was brought out by all four of the managers, and served up to applause and hugs from guests and friends.

Head-chef Simone Reatti has a lot to do with the success of Campo de Fiori. His skills in the kitchen and creativity with the menu are the most prominent part of the dining experience.

“All four chefs gather together twice a year and decide the menu,” explained Reatti, who has been with Campo de Fiori for eight years. But that’s not the only reasons for their success.

“People come here because it’s casual and it’s very friendly,” Reatti said.

The success is welcome, despite the owner’s reservations about starting up another restaurant.

“We originally opened the first restaurant 13 years ago in Aspen, and we thought we would never open another restaurant because it’s so intense,” Plotke-Giordani said. But once they decided to go for it, “Vail seemed like the natural place,” she said.

Now Plotke-Giordani has the future to think about. She stresses the importance of using quality ingredients and making sure customers are getting what they come for. “We are never satisfied with the way things are,” she said. “There’s going to be more of an emphasis on local farms, local ingredients, as much organic food as possible.”

If the contented looks on the diner’s faces are any indication, then 10 more years of success at Campo de Fiori seems like a reasonable expectation.

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