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New Italian restaurant opens in Village

December 14, 2012

 

‘Campo Mammoth’ replaces Hyde

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has done it again: opened up a new restaurant and upped the ante for a pleasant dining experience.

This time we welcome Campo Mammoth at the Village in the space formerly occupied by Hyde. It opens today (Friday), just in time for the holiday rush.

Mark Estee opened Campo (in partnership with Levy Restaurants) with a commitment to organic and seasonal ingredients as well as an emphasis on items that lend themselves well to families and to skiers and boarders in search of après ski fare.

Campo, which Estee explained loosely translates to mean gathering spot or meeting place, will bring people together to savor the restaurant’s handmade pasta and authentic Napoletana-style pizza.

And those interested to see how to properly carve a pig are also welcome to watch how that’s done.

Campo takes pride in what it does and has nothing to hide. The restaurant imported a fancy pizza oven from Italy and positioned it so diners have the opportunity to watch their pizzas from start to finish.

After living in Rome and touring Italy extensively (Ciao! Mi manca l’italia!), I can vouch for Estee and his crew: They know what they’re doing.

The pizzas leave the oven with slightly charred crusts, something Estee said he and his crew look for as an indicator that the pizza is ready. The sauce and toppings (whether it’s cheese, meatballs, or sausage) are beautifully laid out and the end result is a light, fresh, and simple meal … just like the ones I enjoyed in Roma.

But don’t let the simplicity fool you.

“Simple is often the most difficult to achieve,” Estee said.

Estee said when it comes to cooking, it is often easy to lose the natural taste of foods by covering them up with other spices and ingredients.

Instead, Campo focuses on savoring its flavorful mouthfuls with less, not more—the way Italians and other European countries have done for years (va bene!).

“None of our dough ever sees a refrigerator,” Estee said. Every pizza is baked fresh upon ordering.

Items on Campo’s menu include pizza (Margherita, meatball, sausage, etc.), baked cheese, roasted shishito peppers (one out of every 10 is really spicy, according to Estee), and roasted cauliflower, among many others.

I’m not a fan of cauliflower (it’s the smell), but this dish was served with lots of garlic (which I love) and therefore I had to try it.

I guess the trick to enjoying anything is to add some garlic because it was surprisingly delightful and received rave reviews across the table.

“If I had a tail, it would be wagging right now,” said Carolina Aguero, who is also a vegan.

The restaurant also offers wine from Italy and California, in addition to cocktails and beer.

And don’t get me started on the dessert (a must try!)

“I believe, once the doors open, Campo will be a great success and addition to this community,” said Tiffany Tyree. 

“I am really excited to have a true taste of Italy right here in Mammoth.”

A meatball pizza from Campo Mammoth. The restaurant opens to the public Dec. 14 and is located in the Village where Hyde used to be. Photo/Aleksandra Gajewski
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