A wonderful new restaurant named Roseville opened last week in the Point Loma community known as Roseville–one of the first areas settled by Louis Rose in the mid 1800’s. It’s the first restaurant for George Riffle, long known in this town from his stints managing the original Laurel Restaurant & Bar to opening Blanca in Solana Beach and Ivy Hotel in the Gaslamp.
He and his wife Wendy took the space next to the Point Loma-Shelter Island Drug store at Rosecrans and Canon that, in the 1960’s, was the gourmet market called Jurgensens. After the market closed, Italian restaurants came and vacated. Now Roseville brings to the area French-Mediterranean brasserie food and an eclectic wine list. The transformed space features booths, banquettes, a beer and wine bar and open kitchen–a lively room with a comfortable decibel level.
Executive chef Amy DiBiase, a graduate in culinary arts and food service management at Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales University, gives a talented hand to the kitchen. She worked with Riffle and under then executive chef Jason Shaeffer at Laurel to eventually become top toque. When Laurel sold, she moved to Baleen at Paradise Point resort and now Roseville. Pastry chef Heather Fangon rounds out the original Laurel team with desserts that wow, now at Roseville.
And the food? It’s terrific. The Buzz disclaimer: I know the Riffles, DiBiase and Fangon, and have followed them since their days at Laurel many years ago.
Of the recent meals I have eaten with friends (and yes, I paid), the classic duck confit with shell beans (currently cranberry beans) comes with crisp skin and well-seasoned beans cooked with smoky bacon. Or, try the lighter flat iron steak, sliced and served on bed of cherry tomatoes with French feta cheese and light vinaigrette. Start with Carlsbad mussels steamed with flavorful fresh fennel and finished with a fresh herb salsa…and use a piece of Con Pane’s bread to sop up the juices. A deliciously zippy spring salad brings all fresh fava beans, corn kernels and blanched artichoke hearts mixed with an addictive grainy mustard dressing. Lamb, scallops, halibut, veal cheeks, daily specials and sides of frites, asparagus and other seasonal vegetables round out the menu. Ethereal desserts include a lemon chiffon parfait, a dark chocolate pot au crème and more. Service still has a few minor bumps, but the polish is nearly there-small things to be expected in a restaurant open not even a week. Prices range from $6 to $30. Roseville, (website soon) 1125 Rosecrans in the Village of Point Loma, 619-450-6800 for reservations. Dinner from 5:30pm, Closed Sunday