Coming to Trattoria Cattaneo is like you landed in your Italian Auntie’s home for the freshest, most delicious authentic Italian food you have ever tasted. All of their recipes are family inspired, brought down from generations. The ingredients and quality is amazing, and all of this in a little tuck away neighborhood, Bennett Valley in Santa Rosa.
Owner Ricardo and his wife Chef Julie will greet you as well as one of their sons who will serve you. So it really is a family run Mom and Pop type of an establishment. You really feel the close-knit warmth of their family.
Here’s What I Tried:
They start you off with homemade fresh baked focaccia with a nice olive tapenade.
Bruschetta, with it’s balsamic reduction, this starter will make you beg for more.
Spinach Salad, with bacon, walnuts, feta cheese, and raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Sweet and sour, with a nice crunchy edge from the walnuts, a true winner.
Garlic Potato Pureed Soup, luscious texture, velvety smooth and delicious overall flavor.
Gnocchi, Chef Julie kicks ass on this one, with a great creamy sauce and the gnocchi’s just float in your mouth.
Steamed Clams white wine, garlic, chili flakes, basil, fresh tomatoes. I just loved the freshness of the clams coupled with the garlic and heat.
Lasagna Meat Lasagna, with Bolognese sauce veal cannelloni in marinara sauce. Big hearty flavors, with lots of meat delivers a great rendition of this famous Italian staple.
Linguini Carbonara pancetta and bacon cooked in chicken stock, olive oil, onions and parmesan cheese, tossed linguini, finished off with an egg yolk, another perfect pasta dish.
Tortellini alla Romano, cheese tortellinii in a rich garlic cream sauce with peas and diced prosciutto. I used to get this at E’ Angelo’s in Mill Valley back in the 80’s and the is where Chef Julie used to work, so it is a great memory, and very delicious.
Papardelle alla Salsciccia, with homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and chili flakes, cooked together and tossed over fresh papardelle pasta. When you get some of the sausage in your mouth with the wide noodles you too will have to give this 2 huge thumbs up.
Seafood Cioppino, with prawns, bay shrimp, scallops, salmon, calamari, clams, and mussels, in a spicy marinara sauce. This is right up there with any of the finest Cioppino’s I have ever tried, with rich bold tomato flavors and the freshest seafood.
Teramisu, Chef Julie is asked to make this dessert for all of the city functions and food fairs, and after you try it you will understand why. It is an Italian staple, but under Chef Julie’s guidance it becomes something from another delicious planet.
The Wines I Tried:
Riva Leone Gavi, a nice Italian white, fruity and subtle, it will go great with any of the white sauce pasta, or seafood dishes.
Red Sasseo, 2015, Primitivo Salento, like a rich Zinfandel, with all of the jammy flavors, went great with the red sauces.
Mantanzas Creek. 2013, Merlot, Sonoma County, a nice bold wine, I would pair this with the papardelle and sausage.
Trattoria Cattaneo is a quaint Italian restaurant with a homey neighborhood vibe. The walls are decorated with old photographs of Italy and a large mural of the Italian coast. Trattoria Cattaneo’s menu is made up of primarily classic Italian dishes. Appetizers include bruschetta, caprese, polenta and ever rotating soup of the day. The specialties of the house include several pasta dishes like homemade gnocchi, meat lasagna, linguine vongole and a chicken Alfredo. Trattoria Cattaneo’s also offers a build-your-own pasta option where guests get to pick their noodle, sauce, and protein.
This is the kind of place that someone has to bring you to, they don’t have a website and rely on their Facebook presence for their reviews. For me this is super refreshing seeing how the Internet has taken over any word of mouth advertising.
If you live in the neighborhood or are passing through Santa Rosa this is a must do dining spot. I would even say to make it a destination meal, its just that good.
2700 Yulupa Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Note: This review was 2 month after the devastating wild fires that were up on the hill super close to the restaurant. I heard some very scary stories while I as there, and having lived close by I know about the hearts and souls of Sonoma County people. I have to say I was so proud at how quickly most of this are has recovered, and want to give a huge shout out to the first responders. Some of the people I talked to said their homes had been saved due to the hard work from the fire fighters. I am very thankful for this community and how everyone pulled together, especially their astounding
spirit and bravery.