The History of Rosa’s Italian Restaurant
Welcome to Rosa's Italian Restaurant of Pismo Beach where 40 years of restaurant experience in regional Italian cuisine has culminated in this family-owned and operated restaurant by the sea.
Rosa (Cristallo), the matriarch of this long journey, had her beginnings in Bonito, Italy, in the south central Apennines which are located between Naples on the Mediterranean Sea, and Bari on the Adriatic Sea. This region has always been strong in tomato sauces, olive oil, fresh vegetables, pasta and seafood dishes to which this restaurant menu owes its early success.
Rosa made her way from Italy to Boston, Massachusetts where she met and married her husband Bill MacMillan. Together they made their way to the Central Valley of California where their first Italian restaurant was opened in 1966. After leaving the Visalia restaurant, they went to Bakersfield in 1972 and remained there until 1988 when they decided to relocate to the beautiful Central Coast. New and exciting changes occurred when Rosa's opened in Pismo Beach in 1988 as Rosa's son, Douglas (Cristallo) MacMillan took control of the kitchen. After chefing at the Quo Vadis restaurant in Turin, Italy, he returned with the experience of Northern Italian cuisine, which traditionally features more meat dishes and the use of butter and cream. This melding of his mother's southern Italian dishes and his apprenticeship in the north of Italy has produced an award - winning chef who delights diners with his use of the finest quality ingredients. California innovations have added an emphasis on simplicity and freshness and the result is exciting food as satisfying as it is up-to-date. He prides himself on the ability to serve multi-regional dishes with creative flair, as the kitchen staff has long been in place and is always eager to please. An extension of the kitchen is the professional wait staff that is both competent and friendly.
With great sadness we announce the passing away of Rosa in September of 2006, and Bill in September of 2013, but their loving smiles and jubilant spirit remain the heart and soul of this restaurant.
The staff and management are grateful for your patronage and wish you a pleasurable dining experience.