Santa Rosa: Rosso Pizzaria

Rosso Pizzaria & Wine Bar

We did a day trip out to Santa Rosa during our weekend in San Francisco. Rosso Pizzaria was recommended to us by Lou Amdur who used to run Lou Wine Bar. Rosso didn’t have the same quirky charm as Lou’s place [think more traditional Italian] but I could see why he liked it. The food was really good. All thoughts of how annoying it was to get our car from the hotel valet and the long drive made longer by bewildering Northern California traffic vanished as soon as we had some food in our bellies.

Capo salad

We started with the Capo salad which had the best arugula I ever had. For those who don’t like the slighter bitter flavor of arugula, you will love this arugula from Rafter Ranch. Our server said it was grown for the restaurant. The salad also had oven-roasted artichoke, shaved Parmesean-Reggiano and whole lemon vinaigrette. Everything just worked well together.

polenta with pork belly and kale

It’s always hard for me to decide on what to get at a new restaurant, particularly one I didn’t research before hand. I went in expecting pizza and perhaps a salad. But when I saw the polenta, I knew I had to have it. Topped with pork belly, kale and a fried egg, it was comfort food at its finest- with an updated edge.

Funghi di Limone

If I don’t get sausage pizza, I usually get mushrooms. My Opportunarian friend seemed to be avoiding meat more than usual on this trip so I opted for the mushroom.

a slice of the mushroom pizza

I’m glad we got the mushroom. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted. Earthy, good chew and plenty of flavor. It was a bit greasy but my friend still got a side of olive oil to dip the crust in.

So despite my initial reservations about driving to a seemingly abandoned strip mall in the “middle of nowhere,” I’m glad we came to Rosso.

Rosso Pizzaria & Wine Bar

53 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95404 — (707) 544-3221

© The Minty 2012