The Bloom Is On The Rose
After a short remodel, Rose Pistola Re-opened February 16th with an updated look
After a two week closure, Rose Pistola re-opened February 16, 2011 with an updated interior by original architect Cass Calder Smith and a re-worked menu by new Executive Chef Mark Gordon (Terzo, Rose’s Café). Pablo Estrada, who has been in the kitchen since Rose Pistola opened in 1996, remains as Chef de Cuisine. Laurie Thomas, an owner of Rose Pistola from the beginning says, “It’s been a wonderful and very busy 15 years and I thought Rose Pistola deserved a facelift. Reed Hearon (original chef and founder) set out to create a restaurant that honored the spirit and traditions of North Beach. Fifteen years later, we continue to honor that warm, vibrant tradition.”
While both the interior and menu will be familiar to Rose Pistola’s regulars, both have been updated and fine-tuned. The new interior color scheme by Dave Davis in collaboration with Cass Calder Smith is muted and subtle with shades of warm grey, dark burgundy and brown. The original mahogany has been refinished and two hand-crafted communal tables of Honduran mahogany by Lawrence Gandsey of Emeryville now grace the bar area. The bar itself sports new pendants of hand-blown amber glass and Rose’s signature tile floors have been restored to their original glory. The overall effect is richer and more contemporary.
When Rose Pistola opened in 1996, its Ligurian menu – based on the cooking of North Beach’s original Italian immigrant population – was a neighborhood first, as was the use of top quality local ingredients from small farms. Over the years a series of chefs adapted these dishes to their own styles and tastes and added some of their own. According to Mark Gordon, “ I felt my first task was to go back to some of the original Rose Pistola recipes and techniques and produce the best version of dishes that people first ate here and never stopped loving. The second was to be sure we were making these dishes with the best ingredients available today and the third, to add new items, including a selection of bruschette for those who like their small plates hearty.”
Perennial favorites like Fritto Misto, Chopped Salad, Crudo of Fresh Fish, Spaghetti with Seafood Sauce, Roasted Fish in Spicy Tomato Broth and thin-crust pizzas remain or re-appear as does the original Chocolate Budino Cake. New items include an expanded sandwich menu at lunch and a daily baked pasta at lunch and dinner and a changing repertoire of daily specials.
New manager Lisa Robins, formerly of Rubicon and Marche will collaborate on the wine list with Mark Gordon. Overseeing the pastry department is David Guitierrez who was part of the restaurant’s original pastry team.