Rosso Pizzeria-Santa Rosa
My BF and I were over in the Santa Rosa area yesterday and were going to visit a friend who bartends at the Russian River Brewing Company. Their beers are fantastic. They had everything from a Flemish style sour beer, to a double IPA called Pliny the Elder, to a great O.V.L. Stout. We had a sampler and I ended up with a pint of Pliny and the BF with a pint of Damnation Ale. We decided to order a small (8") pizza called the Excel. It had pesto, mozzerella, spinach, sausage and carmelized onions. I thought it was great. I added some dried red pepper and turned up the heat a bit, but my pizza likes to be hot.
We had a slice each so to save room for Rosso. I had read so much about it and was dying to try it. We ended up over there around 9, and they serve till 10 on the weeknight, not sure how late on the weekends. It was dead, which was fine with us. Our server was a chipper young guy and he explained any questions we had. We ordered the beet salad with red and golden beets roasted, Bulgarian sheep's milk feta, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red onion, and a bit of arugula. There was a dressing, nice and light, though I am not sure what it was. We also ordered the meatballs which come 3 to a shallow bowl, with just a touch of sauce, a bunch of chopped, raw garlic (?), and some parmesan on top. We also ordered the Motto Guzzi pizza. It had house-smoked mozzerella, sausage, slow-roasted sweet onions, and swiss chard.
The meatballs we got were pretty, but they were tough and they weren't warm at all. I asked the server and he was happy to take them back as a do over. He ended up returning with a new batch, sadly these were the same. They were not warm, they were tough, and really ended up having no flavor. I don't know how they are making them, but I do believe they need to add some fat back to them. It was all fine with me, we ended up not eating them, and the pizza was well-worth the wait. The house-smoked mozzerella is wonderful. We added an egg to give it an unctious texture, it was cooked perfectly. The crust was chewy and crisp, held up the toppings, and the overall combo was great. The only complaint I had was that there sausage was fairly spare...but I loved the pizza, so I didn't have much to complain about.
Go check this place out. It's great salads, pizza, the meatballs may have just had an off night. They have a great wine list, and a fun atmosphere. I will say the music was really strange and poppy which I can see being fine if the rest. is full, but with only four or so tables, it stood out akwardly.....
Never had the meatballs - but having been to Rosso's four or five times now I can safely say that the pizza is the best I've had in northern california, the anchovy spread should be marketed nationally, and the roast pig special truly special indeed. The one disappointment I've had was the night they had softshells. I'd avoid those but run don't walk to Rosso's for sweet service, fair prices, great wines by the glass (reds were a tad warm for my taste), and incomparably delicious pizza made with artisanal ingredients and obviously a lot of loving care.