Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Roseland Apizza

350 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, CT - (203) 735-0494
Posted By Michael Stern on January 2, 2010 5:44 AM
In bread we trust.

A bread basket is a sure sign of a restaurant's personality; at Roseland Apizza (pronounce that second word the Neapolitan way, “ah-Beets”), you get honest bread with old-time character. Hard-crusted, with tender insides that pull into supple shreds, it comes to the table by the hemisphere, cut from a round loaf.

Bread is the beginning of every meal at Roseland -- a kind of pre-appetizer that's hard not to devour. But don't eat it all, we warn you! Roseland has so many other things you'll want to eat, from a broad menu of hand-cut ravioli, lasagna, various parmigianas, and the occasional pasatelli and cappeletti in broth from the proprietors’ homeland in Le Marche. Hot and cold antipasti are spectacular; and whatever else you eat, you must eat pizza when you come to Roseland, for this is one of the great pizzerias in Connecticut, ergo one of the best on earth. The crust is what connoisseurs know as New Haven style: thin but not brittle, with enough brawn to support all but the weightiest combinations of ingredients and to allay the pizza-eater's primal fears: slice collapse and topping slippage.

Baker Gary Lucarelli makes some spectacularly lavish pies, such as a shrimp casino topped with bacon, mozzarella, fresh garlic, and jumbo shrimp, and this is a good place to sample the relatively uncomplicated Connecticut classic, white clam pizza. Recommended configuration: no mozzarella, no tomato sauce, just a crowd of freshly-shucked Rhode Island clams strewn across a crust frosted with olive oil and scattered with bits of basil, parsley, and oregano, thin-sliced garlic, a twist of cracked black pepper, and a scattering of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. The nectar of the clams insinuates itself into the surface of the crust, giving every crunch exhilarating marine zest.

Roseland is known for serving huge portions. No one leaves without a handful of Styrofoam containers holding leftovers. Gary Lucarelli likes to see diners carry home his food. "They take it to their grandmother or aunt who can't get out," he beams, thinking of all the nice old ladies who have the opportunity to enjoy a Roseland meal at home. "Being in the [Naugatuck] Valley, we get people with good appetites,” he explains. “They come in and knock off a 'hot anti' then have their sauteed escarole and a sausage pie or a plate of ravioli." As he thinks of these good neighbors enjoying their big meals, he raises a wine glass in a one-word toast to all of them: "'Eat!' I say." He inhales the bouquet of the wine (which he makes himself), takes a sip, and repeats the toast that is his family's way of life and the soul of Roseland: "Eat!"
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza
Hot Antipasto
Special Garlic Bread
Tuna Pizza
Shrimp & Spinach White Pizza
Arugula Pizza
Shrimp Oreganate Pizza
Arugula Salad
Lasagna
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Calamari
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Bread
Lina's Dessert

28 out of 29 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Donna on December 11, 2013 9:04 AM
I've had fabulous meals at Rosalind's. Some think they are expensive, but I've eaten three meals from one dinner. Had the Shrimp Parm and between that and the salad, the meal was unbelievable. During the summer, I had the lobster over penne and again ate it for three meals and the food was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My opinion is this is a five *****
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza
Special Garlic Bread
Lasagna
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Calamari
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Bread
Shrimp and Prosciutto Pizza
Penne and Sausage with Marinara Sauce
Zuppa da Clams

0 out of 0 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Tyler on December 16, 2012 5:50 PM
Terrible... just terrible. When we moved to Ansonia this year, our friends told us that we "need" to go to Roseland and try the pizza and broccoli rabe. We ordered a medium margarita pizza and an order of broccoli rabe to go; $35! I actually took a step back when the guy behind the counter told me the price (he actually saw that I was a bit shocked, and said "Well, you can reheat the rabe, and we threw in some garlic bread"... gee, thanks).

So I thought, "Alright, this better be awesome food!" Boy was I disappointed. First off, how do you make a GREASY margarita?! The crust was hard as a rock, the tomatoes weren't fresh at all, and there was hardly any flavor to the pie. Second, although I've never had broccoli rabe, I'm almost positive that it shouldn't taste like that. My wife and I each took a bite, spit it out, and said,"Well now we know we don't 'need' to go there again!"

I know this is a landmark in Derby, but I don't see why. Sorry Roseland, this is one local you won't be getting any business from again.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza
Special Garlic Bread

1 out of 1 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Joe Bags on June 26, 2012 10:46 PM
Roseland's pizza is very expensive, particularly considering they skimp on the sauce and cheese. Added items really cost you compared to other pizzerias in the area.

As for quality, I would rate the pizza as average good. However, there are many pizza places in this area that make pizza just as good and, in most of the other places, you are treated as a guest! This is an area where you can find pizza within a short drive, thus there is no need to go out of the way to be overcharged for average good pizza.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza

0 out of 0 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Katie R on September 7, 2011 8:04 PM
I was introduced to Roseland almost 20 years ago by my ex-husband. Other than our son, it was the best part of our marriage! Okay, I am so kidding; however, I LOVE ROSELAND.

The food is always fresh and stunningly prepared. It is consistent and memorable. I have never ever had a dish there that I didn't enjoy with all my heart. Leftovers for breakfast are a must; with the plentiful portions, it's possible. The bread is as good as it gets.

No matter how often you go, they remember you. Such kind people who must be so proud of the food they make and serve. This place is a gem and anyone who has the gift of living nearby is blessed for how happy Roseland makes your heart, belly, and soul. Thanks, Roseland, I love you!
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza
Special Garlic Bread
Bread
Zuppa da Clams

2 out of 2 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Ed Mann on March 22, 2010 3:36 PM
Many say Roseland Apizza is "Nirvana in the Valley." With a cult-like following and good press, we had to try it. In a residential area, Roseland is hard to find. People speak of the charming, homey, family restaurant flavor. The interior is "old Italian pizza joint" or “country café” with many booths. Zero lobby or bar. You squeeze into a corner while waiting or clog the entrance/exit. People must run the gauntlet of those at the door to get on the waiting list or to leave. Arriving at 6:30, we waited, though they had empty tables in the next room. A waitress pointed and said, "That's your table." On it were three odd plates, three paper napkins, two regular forks and one salad fork.

The printed menu is sparse. Once seated it can be hard or impossible to read the chalkboard. Sparse, too, is the wine/beer selection. We ordered a $25 bottle of wine ($10 in a store!). They were out of some red wines. They offer nine reds and three whites. They offer some by the glass; six bottled beers and six on tap. Nothing fancy except draft Sam Adams.

A sliced boule of ordinary, cold bread was brought with cold butter. The bread was very cold in the middle. There was a long black hair cooked into the loaf. The zuppa de clams broth was super-salty and inedible. The $20 dish sat under heat lights so the clams were partly dried out and tough.

We wanted a shrimp with prosciutto pizza. The waiter immediately asked us if we had been there before. The pizza was going to be $42! The pizza was very much like in New Haven, with a thin, crisp crust. With 20-25 butterflied large shrimp and a little prosciutto on it, they were skimpy with at least the cheese and sauce. The pizza was quite good; the shrimp were obviously fresh.

The sausages with penne and marinara sauce were probably the best Italian sausages I have eaten. The high quality meat was chopped (not ground), and had a wonderful flavor. I was surprised the marinara had little visible oregano or parsley. They melted a very good cheese on top. For the price, and the voluminous amount of pasta, we felt they skimped on the amount of sausage. This came with a high quality salad. The house vinegar and oil was very good and applied in just the right amount.

We three dropped $129; no dessert and one bottle of wine! We poured our wine and weren’t offered anything else to drink when we ran out. They were slow to remove dishes and we never got clean plates, fresh forks, or additional paper napkins during the meal. One meager napkin apiece. You can’t charge tips to your credit card. What?

With prices equaling better New Haven restaurants, we thought we deserved more. The food may be made with good ingredients and some portions are large, but it’s expensive for a no-frills, low-overhead joint with “pizza joint” service.
2 star rating
Overall Rating
Pizza
Shrimp and Prosciutto Pizza
Bread
Zuppa da Clams

6 out of 8 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com