Robertos in Santa Rosa?
What do people think about this place? It seems to be a popular spot the parking lots almost always full when I drive by and I hear lots of raves for the familiar Italian-American style cooking.
I finally tried it a couple months ago with mixed results. The appetizer of clams in white wine was excellent. I had quizzed my server to be sure the clams were pristinely fresh and he swore up and down that I would not be disappointed. He was spot on clean-tasting tender clams in a soothing garlicky broth. It had a distinct taste from the olive oil that was used instead of butter. Every drop was mopped up with the bread.
Less successful was one of the daily specials, paglia e fino with prosciutto and porcini mushrooms in a cream sauce. The fresh pasta was cooked to death and a mushy mess. The porcini were scant, hard and gritty. Somehow I cant trust an Italian restaurant that abuses pasta this way.
My bill was $32 with tax and tip. I should have come away more satisfied for that price.
4776 Sonoma Hwy.
Always good to have your taste buds reporting.
We went on a whim - looking for air conditioning on a scorching night. I had a salmon chowder. SO a salad. Salad was totally ordinary. Salmon soup, not a chowder, was really quite good.
Entrees: pasta with mussel sauce & calamari steak dore. Pasta wasn't overcooked, mussels were tiny, sauce not memorable. Calamari steak was EXCELLENT! Much thicker than we expected, completely fork-tender, egg-wash tender, not tough, browned in spots, just a model of beautifully sauteed calamari. Seafood sourcing is good, and most of the prep and cooking seems to be pretty high quality. I was fully prepped for 50's pasta and red sauce. A real surprise. We're going back for the calamari. Overheard another group debating their orders and one said I always get the calamari.
I didn't see any wines worth ordering. Are 50's cocktails are the way to go?
Thanks for the update, bills
This is one of those restaurants I swear I added to the Places database and am now re-adding. I was interested in this place a few months ago for the dumbest reason ... it is the name of my S/O.
They seem to have two websites with two different hours of operation. According to a review on yelp, Roberto sold the place. However, a message from the owner on yelp points to the website that still identifies Roberto Catania as the owner. http://www.robertositalianrestaurant.com/
To answer part of Melanie;s 2002 question, when I was googling for info about the place a few months ago, it seems Roberto's was a popular meeting spot for groups ... which would account for the parking lot always being full.
Roberto's Restaurant - Closed, now Trattoria Lupo
4776 Sonoma Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95409
There was a Bill's over on Arnold Drive. We never made it and it is now the Eichelbaum & ?? Deli. Ya gotta go if it is named for you, right?
I have heard the place was bought several years ago by the maitre de/headwaiter from the Villa. It was closed for quite a while for remodeling. I found the 50s interior update a bit strange but done with more taste and style than I expected. Not a "wow" kind of place but pleasant.
I asked about group meetings and was told they are only open for dinner but will open for lunch if the group is large enough.
We're heading there tonight, hoping the calamari will be as good as our first time. I'll go the extra mile if a place has someone talented at almost any station. Looked to me like seafood saute was a really strong point. Update later . . .