A Taste of Italia

Pizzeria Mimosa serves up authentic dishes with a side of mountain views
From the moment you pull up to Pizzeria Mimosa in tiny Hereford, just outside of Sierra Vista, it looks, feels, and tastes like an upscale Scottsdale restaurant. The owner, Vicki Gilbert, is a dual American and Italian citizen. A former insurance agency owner, Gilbert always has had a passion for her Italian heritage and Italian food (she has collected more than 100 cookbooks). And now her restaurant enables her to share that passion with her neighbors. 
 
Construction of Pizzeria Mimosa began in late January 2011, and it opened in December that same year. The Monument Fire, which consumed 40 homes in the community that year, amazingly spared the restaurant, although it came unnervingly near. A framed, charred stake that once marked the eatery’s property line hangs near the restaurant’s entrance today, a reminder of that brush with disaster. 
 
Gilbert counts herself lucky, and so do her loyal patrons who enjoy an array of authentic dishes. Gilbert imports many of her ingredients from her homeland, including Antico Molino Caputo flour and Italian plum tomatoes from outside of Naples, Italy. Some of the dishes served are named after Gilbert’s relatives. 
 
Inside, the Tuscan-inspired restaurant features a welcoming, rustic modern look with exposed rock and brick, wood accents, and a copper ceiling. The patio has a gorgeous view of the Huachuca Mountains, and the restaurant frequently hosts alfresco weddings.
 
One of the memorable dishes is the Monumento Pizza (named for the blaze), which boasts crushed tomatoes, Calabrian chili, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and peppered salami. Another great choice is the velvety Gnocchi alla Tirolese with arugula, Gorgonzola cream, smoked prosciutto, and wood-roasted mushrooms. On the sweeter side, salted caramel and chocolate truffle gelato are big sellers, but Gilbert’s personal favorites are the tiramisu and the panna cotta (vanilla bean cooked cream) with drunken berries (a compote soaked in amaretto).
 
Feeling inspired after your delicious meal? On your way out, shop at Gilbert’s well-stocked retail shop that sells a tempting selection of gourmet foods including pastas, sauces, spices, and wine.