A friend messaged me on Thursday and said she wanted to check out the new Italian place opening downtown on Friday. I asked which one and she sent me the link for RoVino The Foodery. I’d heard about this place and was curious about it as well so accepted the invite. The place officially opened at 2 pm, we walked in about 2:05 pm. The place was packed, apparently we weren’t the only curious ones
We snagged a 2-top in the small dining area. The menu is short and sweet with 5 or 6 items in the appetizer, salad and pizza sections. The last menu section, pasta, offered 5 or 6 sauce selections tto be paired with 3 or 4 pasta options. Protein, chicken or (IIRC) shrimp could be added to salads and the non-meat pasta sauces if desired. We chose the crispy Brussels sprouts to share as an appetizer. They were, indeed, very crispy to the the point where the leaves had totally caramelized and some shattered when speared with a fork. They were tossed with equally crispy proscuitto, some walnuts, cheese and a balsamic drizzel. They reminded me of the Brussels at BoBeau’s. In spite of a little bit of oiliness, it was a successful and tasty dish.
Both of us ordered salads, both were good and we’d ordered each of them again. The salad portion is generous and we each took at least half our salads home.
My friend’s salad was a delicious mix of red new potoatoes, green beans, tomatoes, basil leaves on a bed of arugula. She liked it, I tasted it, we both liked it. All it was missing was the jarred tuna
My salad was based on Italian farro and had caramelized red onions, fried artichokes, baby mozzarella balls, tomatoes and basil leaves. It had been tossed with a light red wine vinaigrette.
It was their first official day of business and there were a few not ready for prime time moments. Most of these are minor and I would expect them to be resolved fairly quickly as the place finds it’s operating groove.
- Someone had failed to put their by the glass Sauv Blanc in the cooler prior to service. It’s a nice white but not when it’s warm
- The food took a l-o-n-g time to come out of the kitchen
- It’s an open, display kitchen and the kitchen looked harried, a bit dazed & confused and a bit disorganized.
- They forgot to take the tag off the bottom of their plates. It was pretty clear they’d gone straight from the box to the table.
In addition to the restaurant, there is also a deli and prepared food counter, assorted imported Italian products, a bakery counter that smelled divine and gelato from GelatoLove up in Carlsbad. The deli and prepared food counter was slammed when the doors opened and probably contributed to the kitchen being somewhat flustered and out of sync, and for the slowness in getting food out to the dining area. There were many varieties of fresh and dried pasta available at reasonable prices. I would definitely like to try their pasta. We passed on the bakery counter with multiple giant cookie itierations and went for the gelato. Loved it.
All in all, I’d say RoVino The Foodery had a good opening. The food was good, and had a satisfying quality to it. The ambiance was a little hectic due to the hustle and bustle of opening day, but it’s light, airy and welcoming. I’m not sure their location is doing them any favors and I think, perhaps, they might need to expand the grocery items they offer beyond pasta and San Marzano tomatoes, but I do hope that they succeed. It was an entertaining and fun afternoon and we all need one of those every now and then.