Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Nearly 200 people packed in Catelli’s Restaurant in Geyserville last night as the Italian eatery made it’s television debut on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
“We had a random person who saw the show call within 10 minutes and make a reservation. We’re excited to see what happens,” said Domenica Catelli, who is both chef and owner.
How did it come about? Co-owner (and brother)Nicholas worked for host Guy Fieri for more than a decade as cook, bartender and eventually manager of Johnny Garlic’s and Tex Wasabi’s. “It was really nice of him to consider us, considering we’re neither a diner, drive-in or dive,” Catelli said.
Fieri, who filmed in December, called the Catelli’s family ravioli’s some of the best he’d ever eaten. Rolled paper-thin, Chef Domenica showed viewers that you could even read the paper (which happened to be a Press Democrat) through the dough. Other family recipes on the menu include made to order meatballs sliders, Nonnie’s minestrone, local lamb, burgers and the family’s secret sauce.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the Catelli’s have a long Sonoma County history, having debuted in it’s current home in the 1936. Known as “The Rex”, the homestyle Italian eatery endured until the mid-1980s (the family was not involved in a namesake restaurant in Healdsburg). Santi, which relocated to Santa Rosa in 2010. Shortly after the move, Domenica and brother Nicholas re-opened the restaurant after buying the building from their father.
Well-known in the food world for her expertise on healthy and organic cooking, the Catelli’s source locally and organically
“We always dreamed of coming back,” said Domenica.
Catelli’s, 21047 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, (707) 857-3471