Roberta's offers local palates a touch of Northern Italy New eatery makes its debut in Gaylordsville
New eatery makes its debut in Gaylordsville
Published 5:23 pm, Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The flavors of Italy have arrived in town, courtesy of Sergio Ragosta at Roberta's Ristorante in the Gaylordsville section of New Milford.
Mr. Ragosta opened Roberta's in early June. Trained as a chef in Tuscany and Rome, he owned a small restaurant in Naples, La Padella (Italian for the frying pan), for the last two years.
"I decided to move my family back to America to give our daughters, Roberta, 4, and Hillary, 2, a better future," Mr. Ragosta said.
He and his wife, Luisa, had previously owned two restaurants, called Arrivedercis, in Sherman and New Milford. Opened five years ago, those restaurants were sold in 2007 when the Ragostas moved back to Italy.
"We offer authentic Italian dishes adapted for the American pallet," Mr. Ragosta said. "We import plum tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmesan and Romano cheeses from Italy."
"I'm picky about the flavor of the dishes I prepare," remarked Mr. Ragosta. "For me, my customers are family, and I only want the best for my family."
He is joined by his father, Bruno, in the kitchen. Luisa Ragosta has resumed her role as hostess, which she held at the couple's three previous restaurants.
"I think my wife and daughter, Roberta, are more famous locally than me," Mr. Ragosta said with a smile. "Roberta was born just three days after we opened our restaurant on Bank Street, and our guests were used to seeing her in Luisa's arms."
Specialties of Roberta's include an appetizer of stuffed calamari with broccoli and smoked mozzarella, and an entree called Tagliolini Roberta, a dish of linguini with zucchini, smoked pruosciutto and zafferano in a light cream sauce.
Prices are kept "reasonable" as the Ragostas are aware of the "tough economy."
"We want to make good dining something everyone can afford to enjoy two to three times a week," Mr. Ragosta said.
Roberta's Ristorante, 1 South Kent Road, is open Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m.
For now, customers are asked to bring their own wine or alcoholic beverage. A liquor license will be coming soon.