Consistency, romance, culinary delights, and perfect service. It is always so good to go home to Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano. This restaurant is a élite keepsake on the Central Coast. The staff is phenomenal, so well trained they compliment your choice to dine here. We came with friends and everything about the meal was impressive. Rosa’s is tucked away at the entrance to Price Street, but it is the go-to spot when you want to impress visiting guests or business acquaintances.
Gary started with the specialty desert a Chocolate Tangelo. Two scoops of chocolate/tangelo gelato served in a frosted dish with a cannelloni with mascarpone and candied bird nest decoration with an accompanying orange soaked in plum wine so it was so sweet he ate the rind. He was kind and offered to share, a feat I think only happened because we were with guests.
The rest of us started with the calamari appetizer. Fried crisp, these tubes and tentacles were perfectly cooked and dunked in a house made cocktail sauce and a cilantro cream dipping green sauce that brought out the essence of the ocean when combined.
The owner, Bill came to join us for a glass of wine and told funny jokes and sweet stories about his late wife. Then he brought us a taste of his newest concoction, a swirly pasta sautéed in a white wine olive oil sauce with hunks of fennel and sausage. An original taste that ended with a touch of fire. We all agreed it should be put on the specialty menu. I love that he is trying to bring the Italian palate to California.
I started with the Tuna Capriccio with a thin layer of smoked ahi tune covered with arugula leaves, onions, and capers. Capers are my favorite fruit and this dish holds both large and small ones. When eating this, I am in salty heaven. I have never seen it offered anywhere else, and I could eat it every day.
Then I had an appetizer as an entrée, as the special menu beckoned to my senses. This mastermind dish consisted of large scallops wrapped in prosciutto resting on a bed of sautéed spinach and caramelized Parmesan cheese crisp. It was a symphony of flavors, and I inhaled it as if it was my last meal.
Gary had the Brianna Platter Special, which is named after the chef’s daughter and always a hit. It is a huge manicotti with a spinach ricotta covered in flavorful tomatoes sauce and beef cannelloni. He was awed at the shear size of the dishes and the remarkable flavor.
Even though it is an Italian restaurant, our friend had heard hey have the best steak filets. Confirmed by Chef Doug McMillan to be the best from Creekside Farm, where the flavor of free-range beef is outstanding, and the benefits many. He devoured every inch of this medium-rare hunk of beef, we tried a bite, and it astounded us. Accompanied by the chef’s famous saffron risotto, this was a mouth-watering repast.
Our friend ordered the four cheeses and red potato Pizza, done on a cracker bread crust with Gorgonzola, Fontina, Parmesan, and Mozzarella cheese. This is a pure Italian pizza better than anything this side of the Vatican. Rosa’s offers a full bar so we tried Stacey’s (the best bartender in town) famous martinis. They were a success with all.
We finished with a visit from the chef, Doug as he told proud family stories and the reason why this is the best restaurant on the Central Coast. “Passion, love and family”, it is their mantra and I agree whole-heartedly. The decorations are simple and elegant with meeting rooms for large groups and an enclosed patio for outside dining. With two generations in the kitchen, Rosa's combines the best of old and new world cooking, to create a wonderful full-flavored and astoundingly good menu.
Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano is located at 491 Price Street in Pismo Beach, CA and are open from 11:30-2:00 for lunch everyday but Sunday and 4:00-Close every night for dinners, call for reservations for big groups (805) 773-0551.