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Continuing the Family Legacy
Rovezzi’s reopens in Worcester with a new generation in the kitchen.
On a recent Tuesday evening, my guest and I arrived to find Rovezzi’s packed, giving us an opportunity to sit at the new bar and check out the wine list. We admired the light fixtures of frosted glass that hung on tendrils of wrought iron and enjoyed the warm atmosphere, accentuated by the balance of rich red walls and the exposed wood and brick of the historic mill building.
After being seated, we surveyed the menu, which revealed a sophisticated cuisine that borrows liberally from rustic Italian classics through the boldest of the New American canon. Dare I call it ‘Italian fusion?’
Just as I was poised to select the Asparagus Antipasti, an appetizer of roasted asparagus wrapped with prosciutto and provolone ($7.50), my guest suggested one of the specials, which we decided to share. Bresaola con Ruccola ($8) consisted of buttery-soft Argus sirloin drizzled with lemon olive oil and shavings of Reggiano cheese. The thin-shaved beef had been cured in Rovezzi’s kitchen in a manner similar to prosciutto and was served warm with plenty of cracked pepper and spicy fresh arugula. We used triangles of grilled home baked bread to sop up every last bit of this extraordinary starter.
Then, our server presented our perfect Caesare Insalatas ($6 or 8.50 for two) and a basket of ovenfresh bread with a small carafe of garlicinfused olive oil. A meal unto itself!
Soon, our Piatti della Casa arrived. My entrée, a filet of sea bass ($20), was pan roasted until its panko crumb crust was golden brown and served nestled against a mound of Yukon gold mashed potatoes. Cracking open the crust revealed moist snow-white flakes of the freshest, most delicate tasting fish. A salsetta of arugula, red onion and tomato provided sharp flavor contrast. I matched my entrée with a glass of Cantele Chardonnay ($7). From Puglia, Italy, its crisp pear and apple flavors bore a hint of oak.
Across the table, my guest was similarly impressed with the Veal Chop Milanese ($21). It was lightly breaded, pan fried and dramatically served with its long thin bone sticking out like a spear. Pan flashed arugula and chopped tomatoes accented the tender veal. Both entrees came with the day’s vegetable, braised kale and onions.
My guest matched his veal with a glass of Tramonto Barbera D’Asti ($8), an assertive, robust red. Purely with a sense of duty to my readership, I pressed on to dessert, in this case Rovezzi’s Crème Brulee-of-the-day selection — Chocolate Almond ($7). Cool chocolate almond custard was presented under a think crust of crunchy burnt sugar. It was served with a dollop of achingly rich whipped cream. This was my second meal at Rovezzi’s, and both evenings were memorable for excellent service and adventurous cuisine. I’ve never forgotten some of the dishes Joseph Rovezzi Sr. served at his restaurant on Main Street, and now Rovezzi’s is back and better than ever with his youngest son continuing the family legacy.