Campo di Bella

Photo courtesy of Campo di Bella

Almost every Friday and Saturday night, Marc and Mary Ann Bellazzini set tables for 20 to 30 dinner guests in the wine house on their farm.

Italian and French cuisine inspire their seasonal farm-to-table menu, which they prepare from fresh vegetables and meats sourced from their own Mount Horeb farm and other local farms. The first-generation Italian Americans passionately bring a bit of Italy to south-central Wisconsin.

“The idea of a farm-to-table dinner wasn’t even an inkling 10 to 15 years ago,” says Mary Ann, whose husband, Marc, is the resident chef. “But once we started selling vegetables and educating people on where their food came from and what they should eat and how they should spend time with people they love, it felt like a calling and passion.”

The Bellazzinis call their 20-acre farm Campo di Bella, or “beautiful field” in Italian. The farm includes fruits, vegetables, a few livestock and a vineyard of 355 grapevines. Their farmstay, an apartment on the second floor of their wine house, is rented through Airbnb and overlooks Blue Mound State Park.

Dining on the Farm

Campo di Bella’s unique and delicious on-farm dining experience attracts foodies from the local Mount Horeb area, Madison, Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago. The seasonal menus – like dijon cognac beef stew and pasta puttanesca – are posted a few months in advance at campodibella.com, where guests can make reservations for these reservation-only dinners.

On Friday nights, the Bellazzinis serve family-friendly, three-course cenetta dinners – Italian for special and intimate – by reservation. Walk-ins are welcome to order from the wine bar menu, which includes wine sourced locally and from Italy, Germany, France and California. They also serve local beers, nonalcoholic beverages and hard ciders.

Also see: Wisconsin Dinner on the Farm Events Gain Popularity

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Saturday turns formal with a reservation-only, five-course farm-to-table dinner on white linens. This pranzo-style meal, an Italian slow-food dining experience, lasts at least two hours and includes a 30-minute walking farm tour (weather permitting) and lots of laughter and conversation at two communal tables.

“One of the most unique things about our dining experience is people tend to organically create friendships,” Mary Ann says. “They are strangers at the beginning of the night, and by the end of the night, they’re planning their next dinner together. That is fun to see happen.”

Campo di Bella is a recipient of a Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The grant helped the Mount Horeb winery start production of barrel-aged red wine vinegar made from cold-hardy grapes, which they will begin to sell in fall 2019.

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