Taste | Rossa's Cucina Enoteca
Written by Jaqueline Gutierrez
Photographed by Erns Valdez, Erns Lab Project
The longer I work at IEShineOn.com, gems of the Inland Empire continue to reveal themselves. This month our photographer and I went to Rossa’s Cucina in Ontario near the airport. It’s on Vineyard with all the restaurants and hotels.
Rossa’s is one of the only fine dining restaurants in Ontario, but it slings Italian like it has steep competition on every corner. We started our meal with two very classic appetizers, bruschetta and fried Calamari.
The bruschetta was simple, yet notably different to other bruschetta. Rossa’s bruschetta adds fresh crumbled feta; the salty creaminess of the feta plays well with the tomato and basil.
The calamari at Rossa's was definitely one of the best I’ve ever had. The chef stays away from heavy breadcrumbs and instead uses a simple dredging of buttermilk and flour to coat the squid. It produces the lightest, crispiest and almost tempura-like batter. The calamari is served not just with an average marinara sauce, but instead with a warm spicy Arrabiata sauce. If you’re not familiar with Arrabiata, it’s a rich tomato sauce cooked in olive oil -- sweet from the high ratio of tomato paste and with a spicy red pepper flake kick. With a squeeze of lemon over the calamari, it cuts perfectly through the sauce.
Rossa’s has an extensive menu, and whatever you feel like having, Rossa’s offers it. I was instantly drawn to the Fettuccini con Pancetta e Asparagi. Think of this dish as bacon macaroni and cheese’s second cousin that lives on Park Avenue and also just so happens to be a Duchessa. The fettucine was of the thinner variety, which means it holds onto more sauce. When the sauce is made with cream and white wine, more of it is never a bad thing. Panchetta and asparagus are woven into the pasta to make a tapestry of pure indulgence.
The Salmon con Frutta was a surprise. I personally don’t care for salmon unless it’s raw and sliced. The photographer ordered this dish so I gave it a chance. I almost regretted not ordering it for myself. The salmon is grilled exactly and faultlessly. It’s fresh and there was no detectable fishy flavor -- just moist, fatty and flaky salmon finished with a blood orange, mango and peach chutney.
When the server at Rossa's asks if you’re having dessert, don’t hesitate and just say yes. A dessert tray with everyone’s favorites appears with everything from bread pudding to crème brulee. We chose Rossa's signature dessert, which was essentially vanilla bean ice cream in a basket make out of a giant Florentine or almond brittle, topped generously with fresh berries. I would have asked for one to go if I wasn’t already so stuffed.
If you happen to go to Rossa’s for a date night or dinner, don’t forget to tag @ieshineon and Rossa’s @rossascucina
Rossa’ Cucina Enoteca is located off of Vineyard and D St in Ontario, Calif., at 425 N Vineyard Ave, Ontario, CA 91764