Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Dec 15, 2008 06:06 PM

Trattoria Fresco, Ross...a well kept secret?

So much has been discussed here about the search for the quintessential neighborhood Italian trattoria here in Marin but Fresco remains virtually un-discussed here on Chowhound. Is that the grand design?

It's a tiny place (only about 9 tables) so I can understand the desire to want to keep the secret of a rustic, unpretentious, reasonably priced, Fiorentine gem under wraps But...... as the economy goes south and small independent businesses have a tougher time, the time is right to spread the word and make sure restaurants like this survive.

We've never had a bad dish at Fresco. The menu is interesting and unique with nary a Ceasar salad, lasagna or spaghetti with meatballs in sight but it is comfort food all the same. Marco, the owner is your sever with usually one helper and he is not shy with his advice including the choices of wine and then dessert. Since he designs the menu himself, I am always currious how he can have a favorite.

Portion sizes are not huge but definitely sufficient. The menu changes seasonably plus there is usually a healthy list of specials Prices are reasonable ($12- $19 per entree). Homemade foccaia is served as you arrive with tasty olives in oil. Some of the pastas are homemade. I wish I could recite our menu choices but suffice to say, no one at the table was willing to share...... they all got exactly what they were in the mood for and enjoyed each entree immensely.

I kind of categorize Trattoria Fresco in the similar category as Cuccina in San Anselmo which gets a lot more press. It's not unusual for multiple dining tables to know each other so it definitely feels like the local family hangout.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here's the link:

    Trattoria Fresco
    13 Ross Cmn, Ross, CA 94957

    1. Have you seen Sean and Robin there? :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        As a matter of fact, yes, they were there. We had just seen "Milk" 2 nights before and it was all I could do not to fawn all over him for his outstanding performance.

        As Robin was leaving, another table asked her if it was rude to say "I love your work." She warmly and graciously said "Oh, never! How can that be rude? Thank you so much!"

        Italian food makes everyone friendlier. Or is it the Italian wine?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Ate there a while back (food was good, straight forward Italian - nothing mind blowing, but exactly what a neighborhood spot should be - a trattoria in the true sense of the word) - Sean and Robin were there - no one bothered them and the only distraction was Sean getting up to smoke at least six times during the meal.

          1. re: Husky

            Thanks, I asked only because two previous threads on this spot mentioned the Penns.

        2. Sounds nice, although this sounds suspiciously close to a Caesar salad:

          Mista 9
          Romine lettuce in lemon mustard dressing with fillet anchovies Parmesan cheese