We approach the sprawling Italian villa suitably complemented by the desert palette. Inside are cavernous rooms reminiscent of a past stay at a castle in Chianti. Though we feel a bit royal inside these walls, the outside beckons.
We gather as family, with a 1 ½ year old who charms the staff. The orecchiette with sausage and rapini, wood grilled wild shrimp, salmon and filet satisfy. The ricotta-filled lightly fried squash blossoms taste of the sun. The pane and olive oil delight. Al fino, we succumb to affogato and summer berries with Amaretto cream and a flight of limoncello.
We are pleased that the chef continues to import certain menu items from Italy. My husband is devastated to find the buffalo mozzarella from Campagna has been replaced tonight by local burrata in his caprese.
A day later, we check in at happy hour to find there is yet no mozzarella. The offerings at this time are pleasing, though, and we dismiss the news:
* Bruschetta: roasted fig, gorgonzola and walnuts; fava puree, lemon and pecorino; peach, Calabrese chiles, ricotta and mint
* Polpettini braised in white wine and lemon,
* Speidino: skewered porcini-rubbed filet on arugula with parmigiano, and
* best yet- Sicilian eggplant cakes with currants and pine nuts in marinara.
Abundance on small plates!