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The mark of a good cook is his ability to turn something simple into something great. Case in point: the honey-roasted carrots with coriander seeds and bread crumbs ($7.50). The long, skinny whole carrots are blistered to a beautiful dark orange and sprinkled with the aforementioned ingredients. Simple. Delicious.
And then there's the pizza. Here again the restaurant scores by getting the simple things right. Making great pizza is far from simple, but Campo Fina makes it look easy with a thin but chewy crust and a spare application of sauce and toppings. The margherita ($13.50) is a classic, and the afumata ($16.50) layers on flavors of smoke from the oven with smoked bufala mozzarella, red onions, friggitello peppers and juicy chunks of braised pork belly.
In addition to the food, the other highlight at Campo Fina is the beverage menu. The Italian-leaning wine list has several gems, but the beer and wine cocktails warrant special attention. The drinks ($8) were developed by Erika Frey, who took over at Cyrus after star mixologist Scott Beattie left. Some of my favorites were La Biretta (Moretti beer; Cocchi Americano, a coveted Italian aperitif wine; lemon juice; orange spice syrup; and Angostura bitters) and the Fiori de Sambuca (Dolin Blanc, a delicate French vermouth; elderflower syrup; lemon juice; grapefruit bitters; and anise). These are masterful, wonderfully refreshing drinks you're not going to find anywhere else.
If that's not persuasive enough, there's also Russian River Brewery's Damnation on tap, one of the best beers on the planet.
As the crowds of people both out front and inside attest, Rosen has another hit on his hands with Campo Fina's casual yet sophisticated food served at reasonable prices in a friendly, good-looking setting. What's not to like?