If you live in Santa Rosa, you’ve probably stopped by a time or two. Or, like me, three, a week. Artisanal pizza, in its rising universality and acclaim, attracts a wide bracket of restaurant lovers, as well as us wine weasels. You’ll notice people outside at the patio’d tables, which is a great place to sit; pair fantastic wine and food with the outdoor notes. If you decide on interior seating, you’ll see what I mean by “artisanal atmosphere.” Off to your right, you have the bar, with a couple screens that are almost sure to be tuning into a soccer game.
When you peruse the wine list, you’ll notice that many of the names aren’t your run-of-the-mill producers. Again, artisanal. The appetizers are incredible both in presentation and complexity, especially the Fritto Misto. I paired this with a 2008 Quivira Dry Creek Grenache. What a great starter, and what an incredible wine. More than merely accommodating with options like this, just ask your server. They will point you in a delicious direction.
In surveying the wine list, which, in addition to creatively distinguished pies, is one of the primary pulls of this stylish dining diamond, I appreciated a cache of wines from afar. From South Africa, a 2008 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc. Lovely. From Argentina, a 2009 Lurton Malbec, one of my definitive preferences. It may take you a time or two to find what yours is, as the list is admirably extensive.
Pizza, where do I start? How do I put this on the page, one of the most original varieties of artisan pizza I’ve ever encountered. The Margherita, with a red base, house made mozzarella, basil and McEvoy Ranch EVOO. My favorite, the “Beppo,” delivering a red base, Hobbs pepperoni, black olives, red onion and house made mozzarella (get this a little crispy…nothing like it…completely compliments the flavors and palate presence). One more that I always have is the “Moto Guzzi,” a white base, house smoked mozzarella, Caggiano spicy Italian sausage, slow roasted sweet onions “The Smoked Olive” Olive Oil and swiss chard. And that’s only a few of them.
You may also delight in knowing that Rosso offers a wine club as well as wine education, even field trips. Talking with Richie, he told me about how he his urges his employees to be quite familiar with the wines he selects for the list. He also told me that he considers Rosso a wine destination, one where wine folk can be inspired by the wines, provoked to ask questions about possible pairings, and have a good time with the like-minded.
Now, at about 7:45pm, on a Thursday, this little wine gem is wall-to-wall with enjoyment, unmistakable enthusiasm for the wine and skilled dishes. In my glass, that elegantly theatrical Lurton Malbec. There is immense artistry and creative craftsmanship within these wonderful walls. Watching soccer, having no idea who’s playing, having a relaxed evening at one of Sonoma County’s new culinary loves. Richie and the crew hope to see you there soon, as do I. Visit their website, or give them a call at 707-544-3221. Sip, sip…