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May 9, 2012 03:24 PM

Rosso Pizzeria + Mozzarella Bar in Petaluma: May 10 & 11 Open House Party and May 14 Opening

In 2005, I uttered a wish for pulled-to-order mozzarella served up fresh and warm. Buffalo milk, preferably.

Looks like it's about to come true when Rosso Pizzeria + Mozzarella Bar opens in Petaluma, an offshoot of the Santa Rosa pizzeria and wine bar, and offers local buffalo milk mozzarella.

Progress towards opening has been reported here,

And the local press has weighed in today with a preview photo gallery,

But no mention of the Open House tomorrow and Friday, here's the invitation,

Fresh Paint Party - 5/10 & 11, 5pm to 8pm

P-towners, please report in when you try Rosso.

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  1. Dropped in for an early dinner on Monday, opening day. Glad I got there early, 6-ish, as seats were filling up fast. When I left an hour later, there were only a couple patio tables still free.

    No daily specials yet but the full menu was served. My stretched-to-order mozzarella with condiment ($8) was but the fourth time the crew had made the dish on the first day. Here’s how it’s done.

    The condiment topping had the natural sweetness of tomatoes mingled with briny chopped capers, mint, olive oil, and maybe a bit of garlic. The mozzarella had cooled and flattened out by the time it reached my table, stiffening up too. Now made from cow’s milk curd sourced to the north, in-house production will feature the buffalo milk curd from Ramini in Tomales Bay soon. For now, there’s only one mozzarella di bufala dish on the menu.

    Tripe alla Petaluma ($10) was so chunky with long-roasted tomatoes and oblong disks of carrot, it could stand tall on the plate. The ribbons of honeycomb tripe had just the right bite. And while I liked the crunch of the toasted bread crumbs, the application was excessive and sucked up too much moisture. Yet, still tasty overall with a surprising element of fresh mint.

    With no desserts here, I finished off with the Trio of Burrata ($8): goat cheese and mint, traditional and straciatella. A splash of olive oil, fresh ground pepper plus a spot of fragrant lemon oil for good measure accented the plate. Here, the “traditional” is akin to burricotta with the curd filling seeming a bit lean and dry compared to the more tender and voluptuous curd and oozing cream of the straciatella. The goat cheese version was interesting to try, the mint and lemon highlights keeping the goat-y pungency somewhat in check. But I’d not order it again, as even mild, fresh goat cheese feels overly aggressive to be in a relationship with sweet creamy burrata. Now that I’ve tasted Rosso’s straciatella, it will be a must-order.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Stopped in to Rosso Petaluma last night for dinner. It was quiet at 6 pm but the staff indicated this was the first quiet night they have had since opening.

      Sampled the Trio of Burrata. The straciatella was the standout. I was not blown away by the traditional but did like the goat cheese version with mint. We also sampled the Roasted Octopus which had the right texture and was very good.

      We sampled two pizzas, the Carcofi (artichoke, guanciale , house made
      mozzarella, roasted garlic) and the Liguria (caramelized onions, anchovies, olives, gruyere cheese and arugula). Crust on both was as chewy and on par with Santa Rosa. I preferred the Liguria. The anchovies were strong but that did not deter me.

      The only dish I didn't love was the chopped salad.-Endive, Rafter Ranch mixed lettuces, peas,
      asparagus, mint, and prosciutto cotto. The greens were great as was the dressing, but the prosciutto was a little disappointing and I didn't think the dish came together perfectly.

      Service was knowledgeable and very friendly. We were with are kids and like Santa Rosa the kids were given their own dough to shape and have cooked. Wine list did not seem as broad as Santa Rosa but the prices are very reasonable.

      Overall I give it very high marks, particularly considering how new the restaurant is.

      1. re: MikeW

        Thanks for the write-up, Mike, as one fan of the straciatella to another. :)

        My visit felt incomplete because I didn't order pizza, so I'm glad to hear about the pizzas and especially that they are on track this early in the game. I want to go back once the Ramini buffalo mozzarella curd is available. Would be great if you could give a high sign when that comes to pass.

        1. re: MikeW

          MikeW, thought about our straciatella fan club today. I attended an open house catered by Rosso. A self-serve crostini bar had toasted focaccia, various spreads (e.g., red pepper, balsamic mushroom), La Quercia prosciutto, soppressata, arugula, and a BOWL of straciatella topped with a drizzle of olive oil. I managed to restrain myself and only had three pieces, but thoughts of running off with that bowl did cross my mind.

          Have you been back?