Edit 4/22/17: Unfortunately Scopa closed its doors on 4/8/17. You can read about the decision here. Fortunately its sister restaurant Campo Fina still serves many of Scopa’s beloved dishes, but we will miss this charming, intimate restaurant.
One of the great perks of being in a wine club is that it’s an excuse to visit wine country on a regular basis. Jack and I joined the Williams Selyem wine club several years ago, and since then we’ve made it up to Healdsburg for at least a day trip a couple of times a year. On one of these early visits, on a very hot fall day, a few of our friends introduced us to Scopa, an Italian restaurant right on the square. We had a group of six (the largest group they can accommodate) and I remember sitting at their only outdoor table, sweating profusely. We felt like we were in Italy! Our whole table shared a variety of appetizers, pastas, and pizzas. Everything was delicious, but what I remember most were the incredibly tender and flavorful meatballs and the perfectly cooked home-made pasta dishes.
Since that visit, Scopa has been our go-to restaurant when we visit Healdsburg. On this visit we started with the Sicilian Green Olives. These are the plump, meaty, bright green Castelvetrano olives from Siciliy (which always seem a little more delicious in a restaurant than when I buy them at the grocery store). These (along with oil-cured black olives) are my favorite olives. We enjoyed them with some house-made Ciabatta bread with Dry Creek extra virgin olive oil. We also each had a glass of sparkling wine, as we were celebrating Jack’s birthday.
We shared the Burrata Cheese (Mozzarella Paradise) with roasted chanterelle mushrooms, cipollini onion argodolce, sweet meat squash puree, and arugula. The creamy burrata paired nicely with the sweet onions and squash, and the fresh arugula. We held off on ordering the spicy meatballs (Polpette Calabrese), since the rest of our meal was to be very meat-heavy. But this took a lot of will power!
We’ve ordered Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese every time we’ve eaten at Scopa. It is just so delicious. It is comfort food at its finest: spaghettini pasta with tomato braised beef and pork rib sugo, topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. It has a lot more sauce than a traditional Italian pasta dish, but the sauce is so damn good that it works. I have fond memories of us eating this dish the night before we adopted our puppy Missy in October of 2012. What an exciting weekend that was!
For our Secondi we ordered the Grilled Rib-Eye Steak for Two with rosemary roasted potatoes and an arugula-Parmigiano insalata. This was the first time we’d had a steak at Scopa, as we usually order two pasta dishes. The rib-eye did not disappoint. It was cooked perfectly medium-rare, with a nice flavorful crust on the outside. It came with a TON of salad and potatoes, definitely too large a portion for two people. This would be a nice dish to share with a larger group.
For dessert we ordered one of the items Jack always gravitates toward when he sees it on a menu: panna cotta. It was served with a blueberry sauce and was very good. I much prefer cookies, bread pudding, or pie to pudding or panna cotta for dessert, but this one was mighty tasty. As you can see, we couldn’t wait for the photo to dig in!
Jack’s birthday dinner at Scopa was another fabulous meal for the books. This restaurant has never let us down. Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese continues to be one of my favorite pasta dishes, perhaps the best I’ve had outside of Italy. The restaurant itself is small and cozy, with rustic exposed cinder block walls. The service is always youthful and friendly. Their sister restaurant Campo Fina is located around the corner and offers a similar menu, has a nice outdoor space with a bocce court, and can accommodate larger groups than Scopa. If you’re visiting Healdsburg, I recommend trying Scopa first, and keeping Campo Fina as your backup if Scopa is booked or you have a large group. Or try Campo Fina for lunch! You won’t be disappointed.
Scopa: www.scopahealdsburg.com 109 Plaza St, Suite A (on the square). (707) 433-5282. Tues-Sat, 5:30-10pm. Parties of 6 or fewer. Takes reservations via phone.
Campo Fina: campofina.com 330 Healdsburg Ave. (707) 395 4640. Open 7 days a week, 11:30am-10pm (shorter, all-day menu from 2:30-5:30pm). Takes reservations via phone. Good for large groups. Nice outdoor space available.
What is your favorite Italian restaurant in the Bay Area? What are your favorite items to order there?