Sunday, September 5, 2010
Rosa's Italian Market & Deli
120 E. 4th St, Post Falls
"Italian restaurants with more than 120 entrees are always disappointing."
~ Miss Piggy, 'Miss Piggy's Guide to Life' (1981)
It was a little disconcerting, yet also somehow comforting when our lunch order was ready for pickup and we heard our hostess’ voice cry out loudly, “Patrick! Are you hungry? Come and get it!” It was a little like being back in the old country (that is, if I were actually Italian), and hearing your beloved mama’s voice summon you to the dinner table from out the back door of the family casa. It certainly got my attention, and was just one of many charming personal touches that made our visit to Rosa’s Italian Market and Deli an utterly memorable and impressive experience.
We parked next to the converted house across the street from Post Falls’ shiny new City Hall building and it was immediately clear that owners John and Tina-Marie Schultz put a lot of love into the place. The landscaping is gorgeous, with cheerful flower patches, neatly trimmed rosebushes, and eclectic lawn ornaments. We stopped on the way in to read a sign explaining the rich history of the Victorian-style house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was built in 1910 by Samuel and Ann Young, one of the very first couples to settle in Post Falls.
The deli case is stuffed full of an unusual selection of cold cuts, such as Sopressata, Mortadella and Hot Capocolla, and cheeses such as Gorgonzola, and Ricotta Salatta. Basically, if your recipe calls for some crazy Italian ingredient which in the letter “a”, Rosa’s probably has it ready and waiting.
Another display case is stuffed with salacious homemade pastries and dessert items like Tiramisu, Napoleons, Cassatinas, and Sicilian Rum Cakes. Our eyeballs gained twenty pounds each just gazing at the wonderment of it all. A full menu of real-deal coffee and espresso drinks is also on offer that makes a place like Dutch Brothers seem positively pathetic by comparison.
We stood and checked out the selection of sandwiches and after debating between the Eggplant Parmesan, The Sinatra (sopresetta and salami with sun dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella), and Il Padrina (five Italian meats, provolone, and roasted red peppers), we both decided on the Chicken Marsala with a cup of a nameless soup made with cabbage, potatoes, and onions.
We couldn’t help but overhear our neighboring diners, two ladies with thick accents, rave about their Cannolis and mini-cups of espresso to the point of ecstasy and announce that they hadn’t enjoyed such a treat since “back east”. Neither one of us had ever had the pleasure of enjoying an authentic New York Italian deli, but we couldn’t help but agree with the sentiment. With heaps of personality and genuinely delicious cuisine, Rosa’s Market and Deli is one of the finest specimens west of the Mississippi.