Photo By PAULA MULLER
Chris Rossetti at one of the tables at his restaurant “Rossetti.”
By GAYLA CAWLEY
LYNN — Local restaurant owner Chris Rossetti is humbled that Rossetti Restaurant has been chosen as an OpenTable Diners’ Choice winner for the Boston area this past month, something he attributes to a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere.
“Every person that walks in this door should feel like family before they leave,” Rossetti said.
Rossetti is the co-owner and general manager of Rossetti Restaurant, located at 47 Sutton St., an Italian food establishment he shares ownership of with his father, Bob Rossetti and uncle, Steve Rossetti.
OpenTable is a website where customers make reservations for restaurants where they would to dine and can leave reviews about their experiences afterwards. The Diners’ Choice Award is given to those restaurants with the best reviews and highest rankings, as the reviews are also given between zero and five stars. For the Boston suburbs area, Rossetti is currently ranked second behind Il Capriccio, a restaurant in Waltham.
Rossetti said his restaurant consistently receives a Diners’ Choice Award, as the honor is given out every month.
“Almost every month, I get an email saying diners chose us as one of their absolutely favorite restaurants,” Rossetti said. “Every month, that feels fantastic.”
Rossetti added that there are so many great restaurants in the Greater Boston area and “to be constantly recognized is amazing.”
Last year, Rossetti said the restaurant received a bigger distinction from OpenTable, when it was named one of the top 100 Neighborhood Gem Restaurants in the United States. For that award, Rossetti Restaurant was chosen out of 13,000 neighborhood restaurants in the country.
“We were humbled to get that,” Rossetti said. “It was amazing.”
That plaque is posted on the wall at the restaurant for all guests to see and is something Rossetti said came out of nowhere.
Rossetti said he attributes his restaurant receiving awards to numerous factors, but he said “friendliness is the most important thing in the restaurant.” He said restaurant employees and owners need to give guests a great experience and make them feel comfortable.
Friendliness is one of the three categories Rossetti lists under hospitality for the biggest draw to his restaurant, along with professionalism and knowledge. He said the goal is to make people who dine at the restaurant feel like they’ve known fellow diners and staff for years.
“The main goal is to make sure every guest walks out of this restaurant extremely happy with their experience and wanting to see us again,” Rossetti said.
Rossetti said the food served at the restaurant is a mixture of Italian American cuisine and more traditional Italian dishes from Italy. He said a more american dish would be chicken parmesan while other dishes would reflect what a person would get in northern or southern Italy. He said in southern Italy, there would be more red sauces, pastas and meatballs, while northern Italy would serve more cream based or butter based sauces, along with risotto.
“Most importantly, it’s us creating new recipes based off of those cuisines,” Rossetti said.
One of those creations that the restaurant offers is pan-roasted Atlantic haddock, a favorite of Rossetti’s. He said haddock is a fish that would be seen more here than in Italy, but the dish is made at the restaurant with sweet pea and rock shrimp risotto with sherry butter, stewed tomato and fresh basil to blend the different styles of cooking.
Rossetti Restaurant opened in Lynn in November 2013 and is the third location of the Rossetti family — with two left in operation. The original location in Revere, Rossetti’s Market, opened in 1979 and was sold 14 years ago. However, Rossetti said the real original location was in his grandmother’s basement, where his father and uncle used to make homemade sausages starting in 1976.
The other location is in Winthrop, Cafe Rossetti’s, a restaurant he said reminds him of his grandmother. He said that setting is more intimate, seating only 36, with guests encouraged to bring their own wine and alcohol.
The Lynn location is larger, seating 88 people, including the bar, and is a mixture of what Rossetti and his father and uncle have done. Private events in the back room seat up to 40 people. He said the Lynn restaurant “focuses on traditional and modern Italian food with that big city atmosphere.”
For Rossetti, OpenTable awards are always nice, but he also uses the reviews and feedback from diners on the website to improve their future experiences at the restaurant. For example, he said a criticism about noise spurred ownership to do some recent remodeling.
“We always try to get better based on their feedback,” Rossetti said. “You have to listen to all of your guests. Those are the people coming back. Our guests are the most important part of our business.”
Gaya Cawley can be reached at [email protected]