Scopa sister restaurant “Campo Fina” to open in June
Scopa chef Ari Rosen’s new restaurant will be called “Campo Fina”.
Rosen, who co-owns both restaurants with his wife Dawnelise Regnery, wanted the name to express not only his love of simple Italian food, but of family and the rich growing traditions of Sonoma County.
“For us it’s a strong reminder of a return to the basics,” he said Sunday. “These are the things we hold most important: food and wine and fun and family.”
Rosen says the word “campo” — “field” in Italian — was a word he heard used often in phrases when he lived and cooked in Italy for three years, before returning Sonoma County.
“The Italians have many terms that use campo,” he says. “One means “field of greens” which refers to a the fields of wild, bitter greens. When people didn’t have money, they would go out to the fields and live off what they could forage. The wisdom I learned was that best food comes from the basics. That’s what we want to do at Campo Fina: simple, basic food and ambiance. ”
Rosen says his time in Italy changed his perspective of Sonoma County, noting the landscape — minus the 500-year-old buildings — is very similar to what he had seen in Italy. As with Scopa, which recently celebrated it’s fourth anniversary, Rosen says Campo Fina will take advantage of all Sonoma has to offer from “farm to table.”
“The bounty of this area is unbelievable and when you combine it with the hard-core salt-of-the-earth farmers we have here, it’s hard to imagine living in a better place,” he says. “Before I went to Italy, I never thought of that. As much as I wanted to be with my family, part of me wanted to stay in Italy. But now I understand why so many people from Italy and Europe settled here. Coming back here, it made me feel comfortable.”
Rosen says the finishing touches are being put on the new restaurant which, like Scopa, is a long, narrow space. A row of banquettes will be against one wall, a bar in the back and beyond that a kitchen and an outdoor patio that will be open in the warmer months and include a wood burning oven and a communal table. There will also be a Bocce Court.
Former Petite Syrah Chef de cuisine Jamil Peden, who has been in the Scopa kitchen, is moving over to Campo Fina as Rosen’s co-chef. Rosen plans to spend the first couple of months “getting situated” before splitting his time between the two restaurants.
Scopa sous chef Michael Degen will be Rosen’s co-chef at Scopa and will oversee the kitchen there while Rosen gets the new restaurant up and running. Chef Degen will be assisted by Mike Ruffino. Campo Fina, which is located at 330 Healdsburg Ave., will initially be open for dinner and Rosen hopes to begin lunch service in July.
As for the “fina” part of the name? Rosen says that was in honor of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Serafina.
“I want this to be a playing field for our daughter and our friends,” he says.