Big news in the restaurant scene as business partners Kevin Cronin and John Franchetti of the Rosso restaurants in Santa Rosa and Petaluma announce that they’re going in different directions. The duo have been behind the successful wood-fired Cal-Ital pizzerias since 2009.
The Rosso brand (Santa Rosa’s Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar and Petaluma’s Rosso Pizzeria + Mozzarella Bar) will continue under Cronin’s leadership, with the same wood-fired pizzas, burrata and all the other farm-to-fork Rosso dishes we’ve come to know and love. Cronin says he’s also planning some updates to the Santa Rosa space, and has a new project up his sleeve. Rosso’s notable wine list, classes and, of course, football (aka soccer) are here to stay, he said.
Chef Franchetti, who’s been focused on the company’s expanding restaurant, event and catering business (Rosso Eventi + Rosticerria) on Dutton Ave. will rebrand the space as Franchetti’s Wood Fire Kitchen, Catering and Events. Franchetti and his wife, Gesine, recently started dinner service at the restaurant, adding to their breakfast and lunch walk-up menu. The rotisserie is gone, making room for an expanded menu of pizzas, sandwiches, small plates and entrees including Harvest Fair Winner, Chetti’s (pronounced kety’s) spicy chicken and salsa verde, slow roasted pork shoulder with fingerling potatoes, veal and pork meatballs, and the chetti hash with every kind of veggie goodness, mozzarella, baked eggs and bacon. And yes, there will be dessert, with Dominique Sweets’ pastries.
Franchetti, says he’s excited about the new menu and plans and even more expanded selection after the holidays, as well as this new chapter of his life, working closely with Gesine.
Cronin, for his part, says the timing was right for the business to evolve, as both the catering and brick-and-mortar businesses have found their audiences. “It’s just a perfect time or both of us” Cronin says.