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Restaurant Review: Catelli’s in Geyserville


Restaurant Review: Catelli’s in Geyserville

by Ron Skaar

Photo By Jon Russo

I remembered Mama. Nearly forty years ago, while visiting friends in Cloverdale, we were all graciously welcomed, (they by their first names), on our entry to Virginia “Mama” Catelli’s bustling establishment. That same warmth, exuberance and good food awaits guests today, at Catelli’s in Geyserville.

Across from the jammed big wood bar, the sweet hostess is helping a foursome, without a reservation on a Saturday night, find seating. There are dinning tables across from the bar where three huge “windows” open to the large middle dinning room. The gracious and airy space includes a third, more private party dinning area and a seasonal patio.

Booth seating tables line the walls of the large middle room, which is anchored by a long wood family style seating table. Kathryn, our server brings a glass of Portalupi, 2013 Pinot Noir along with warm baguette accompanied by fresh sun-dried tomato butter. She points out their large portions and helps steer the two of us to sharing a couple of starters and the daily pasta special.

Pasta has been the signature dish here since “Mamas” days, which began way back in 1936. Now, third generation Catelli siblings Nicholas and Domenica are co-owners.  Executive chef Domenica’s famous red sauce is readily consumed along with Grandpa Richard’s meat sauce. These are used in the lovingly prepared ten layered lasagna, the handsome homemade ravioli and other pasta dishes including a meaty penne dish named for Domenica’s husband Michael, which is finished off with fresh marscapone.

Tonight we’ve selected the “pasta of the moment” from the seasonal specials menu to follow our two starters. A long white platter contains the glistening Baby Beet Salad with organic arugula, Sparrow Lane golden balsamic, Dry Creek olive oil and crispy prosciutto ($ 13.50 for two). The sweet and succulent roasted beets pop in your mouth  along with the peppery arugula and crunchy prosciutto. Three simple, fresh ingredients are combined for a perfect pairing. Same goes for the pinot.

A Burrata and Prosciutto starter came on a foot long wood board. Kathryn was right about the portions. The triple-cream mozzarella is surrounded by thin sliced San Daniele prosciutto, grilled bread and organic baby arugula with Dry Creek olive oil ($ 15.99).

The buttery cheese along with salty ham and piquant greens adorned the smoky bread.

Our “pasta of the moment” was freshly prepared Pappardelle Pasta served with fire roasted tomatoes, SCMC smoked bacon, garden herbs, onion and garlic, finished with fresh grated parmesan ($ 23.95). Incredibly al dente noodles perfectly cooked and covered in a dreamy, smoldering sauce embellished with fresh herbs including purple basil. We split this dish and still had a “doggy” container to take home!    

The seasonal specials menu included a pink banana squash soup, lemon grass chicken, wild swordfish and hanger steak. Their menu, posted on line, has an array of starters, salads, burgers, signature sandwiches, seafood and chicken entrees. We passed on the   dessert menu and finished with a glass of Marietta Old Vine Red ($ 8.00) from the wine selections with over 100 local vineyards. A toast to a living landmark, filled with great food, wine and warm surroundings.   

CATELLI’S 21047 Geyserville Ave. Geyserville, CA 95441 (707) 857-3471