Suffice it to say that Camp Verde is near and dear to my heart. Its a small town with its positives and negatives, but those positives are great indeed. Camp Verde, situated right at the heart of Arizona, is in a beautiful spot of land in the Verde Valley. It's absolutely gorgeous land so that even if certain sections of the town aren't as maintained as other small towns might be, the views from so many houses are well worth it. Camp Verde also has a history of having trouble keeping businesses, whether stores or restaurants (there are some that have lasted but other locations keep switching owners faster than you can keep up).
The building that now houses Moscato Italian Restaurant was such a location. The two chefs, Salvatore Moscato and Jenny Robbins, who opened the restaurant met while working in Sedona (the fancy place of the Red Rocks that's home to several good restaurants). But they chose Camp Verde, not Sedona, and I am thrilled that they did. Location-wise, Moscato is on Main Street, right across from Fort Verde, one of the main tourist attractions in the town.
Though the restaurant opened just last month, I've already eaten there three times, once for dinner and twice for lunch. What excites me most is that they make their pasta (and their bread) fresh. More people should do this but it usually seems like hardly anyone (out here at least) does. And while Tutti Santi in the Phoenix area is great (really good food, you should go there, too), it's also a little far. Moscato is much closer.
This isn't a review; it's more like an exclamation of gladness. That said, they've decorated the place well (work just began on the patio last time I was there). I can vouch for three kinds of pasta, one kind of chicken (I ordered chicken on purpose because it's so easy to mess up and dry out but this one was very good), the bread that comes before your food, the dinner/house salad (with their house-made Italian dressing), their iced tea (I judge restaurants on their iced tea because too many iced teas taste like dirt), their lemonade, and their tiramisu.
Now, it is a place where you want to go to take your time (perfect for a weekend evening), so don't expect to finish in a rush. You can take your time here. And yes, it does cost a little more than some places but the thing is, that price is justified because the food is good quality. And you can't tell me that there aren't people in Camp Verde who appreciate quality because I know better (and this is all not to mention the fact that people from other cities or even states will stop here, too, as word travels about).
Word's been traveling fast, too. When I've gone for lunch, it's been pretty open, but the restaurant was full on a Friday night. I only hope that they will continue doing well (and providing the same quality that they're starting with) because this is exactly the type of thing I'd like to see in this beautiful, historic town.