An Ode To The Red And Blue
Expect much more than an Italian restaurant at DTLA’s newly opened Rossoblu
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Rossoblu and Frank Wonho Lee
When it came time for Steve Samson to choose a moniker for his and wife Dina’s new Northern Italian restaurant, he looked to his Bolognese heritage, settling on a name that not only channels a mixture of red and blue but carries a lot of personal meaning as well. While Rossoblu is recognized as Bologna’s—and Steve’s favorite—soccer team, its hues also are apparent in the beloved Lambrusco wine of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, and signify a meeting of L.A.’s blue skies and Bologna’s red rooftops.
“I’m so thrilled to be cooking the food of my mother and grandmother… As the matriarchs of my family, they really fostered my love of, and taught me to make, dishes such as tortellini in brodo, tagliatelle al ragu, milk-braised pork and countless others.”
“Rossoblu is a home away from home,” says chef/owner Steve Samson, who also is behind the city’s award-winning Sotto restaurant. “We want to make our guests feel comfortable, while also transporting them out of L.A. with soulful Italian cooking in a unique space.”
Situated at 1124 San Julian St.— on the border between DTLA’s Fashion and Wholesale districts—Rossoblu is the first eatery to debut at City Market South, a 75,000-square-foot dining, retail and office space comprised of vintage, brick and bow truss warehouses and open-plan concrete structures on 2.5 acres at the southern end of the city’s oldest wholesale produce market. Given its history, Samson tapped designers Marwan and Mies Al Sayed and J.P. Guiseppi to give the establishment a more modern feel while maintaining its raw character. Expect an elegant interior sporting long banquettes with printed lace details that remind Samson of his grandmother, along with tables made to be pushed together to bolster a sense of community, and an edgy, large-scale mural by CYRCLE.
Outside, a piazza-esque dining space mirrors the spirit of Bolognese festivals. As for the culinary offerings, guests will find an extensive menu focused on the food of Bologna and its Emilia-Romagna region, including fresh sausages and aged salumi (cold cuts), and pastas made in-house al matterello (meaning by hand with a large, traditional rolling pin). Meanwhile, Bar Director Brynn Smith has compiled a menu of sumptuous Italian spirits, and Wine Directors Jeremy Parzen and Christine Veys have curated an excellent selection of Italian and California wines, including 14 expressions of Lambrusco from Sorbara to Parma and beyond.
“I’m so thrilled to be cooking the food of my mother and grandmother, having spent numerous summers there and in the surrounding region of Emilia Romagna,” says Samson. “As the matriarchs of my family, they really fostered my love of, and taught me to make, dishes such as tortellini in brodo, tagliatelle al ragu, milk-braised pork and countless others. This is the same food that I fell in love with growing up and I love the fact that I am bringing that to my hometown of Los Angeles.”
1124 SAN JULIAN ST.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90015
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