Brentwood's premier farm to Table Restaurant
Anthony and Alyssa Roost have always had the goal of opening a restaurant together. From the beginning, it seemed like their paths, both individually and as a couple, were meant for the restaurant business.
“When I was young my parents owned some small restaurants,” said Anthony, “and Alyssa loved being in the restaurant business; it was one of her first jobs when she was attending Liberty.” After graduating, Alyssa went off to CSU Sacramento and met Anthony who had moved there from Lodi. The two of them stayed in Sacramento for a while pursuing their careers, and when Alyssa would return home to visit her parents, she noticed there were no wine bars to grab a drink and just relax. The couple knew that the area would benefit from that type of recreational option, so they decided to open their own, thus creating UnWined in Discovery Bay. “That’s how it all got started.”
Opening a wine bar proved to be a huge success and just what the local demographic was looking for. By the time Anthony and Alyssa finished opening UnWined, the Streets of Brentwood approached them about creating something similar in their shopping center. “Since Brentwood and Discovery Bay are so close to each other, we wanted to do something different with the second location,” said Alyssa. “We changed it up a little bit, added more food, more wines and that’s how we created Vine + Grain.” Six or seven months into their adventure of double ownership, the Streets of Brentwood once again proposed the idea of the Roosts adding to their list of responsibilities, but this time a restaurant. “At first we thought it could be too much on our plate. We had opened two bars in two years, but both of them were doing well. So, when we were approached by someone who wanted to buy UnWined within a few months of the Streets’ offer, we thought it was perfect timing, so we went for it.” Anthony and Alyssa sold UnWined and moved forward with the Streets to bring Brentwood and the surrounding areas a new culinary option.
Once they signed the lease of intent, Anthony and Alyssa knew what they wanted to do with this opportunity. All of their favorite dining spots in Napa, Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco always offered fresh ingredients, which is something that is important to the couple. Then right before beginning the process they traveled to Italy and Spain and gathered even more inspiration and confirmed the fact that fresh is best. “We were so impressed how everything there is straight from the farmers’ market,” said Alyssa. “It’s all farm to table style, simple ingredients but incredible flavors, and that’s what we aimed to make happen. We live in an area full of local produce, so why not take advantage of that?” So, the Roosts contracted with Frog Hollow, Knoll Organic Farms, G&S, and First Generation Farmers. Anything that cannot be found at those locations are resourced somewhere within a 100-mile radius. Their beef is from Del Monte Meat Company which is in Northern California, and the seafood is either caught fresh that same day or the day before. “Nothing is ever frozen.”
With the prime ingredients located, the restaurant was ready for the grand reveal. Attraversiamo quietly opened to the public in July with guests trickling in. Once locals realized the restaurant was open for business, word spread quickly and reservations began filling up. “Our menu is California cuisine with a European twist; it’s seasonal and will rotate,” said Anthony. “There will always be staples like chicken and beef, but whatever the farms have will dictate how the menu changes.” The pasta is made fresh each morning, and the House-Made Fettuccine has a Brentwood sweet corn butter that is rendered from the remaining Mexican Street Corn cobs, topped with fresh jalapenos, tarragon, roasted chili oil, and crispy pork belly. The Pan Seared “Top-Feed” Passmore Ranch Sturgeon comes with brown butter delta asparagus, roasted and raw turnips, and Frog Hollow fruit. Perhaps the most unique dish, the Griddled Baby Octopus, includes braised beets, pork belly “adobo,” crispy delta wild rice, and mustard cream, making a deliciously unexpected flavor combination. The menu also includes staples such as Darn Good Fried Chicken Thighs and the Attra Burger.
Keeping in line with the farm to table theme, Attraversiamo does all of their pickling in-house, makes all of their own vinegars and their own hot sauce. Their beverages also use fresh ingredients like beets, egg whites, herbs and hand-squeezed juices. Try the Al Fresco, a refreshing mix of lime vodka, Thai basil, lime, watermelon, and prosecco. For an earthier option, Drop the Beet has green chili vodka, beet, lemon, egg white, and celery bitters. They also offer an extensive wine menu and a handful of beers. “The prep work here is pretty time consuming but ultimately that’s how we create such incredible food and cocktails,” said Anthony. “The bar staff gets in two to three hours before service, and the chefs are here five hours beforehand. They put a lot of effort into making this all happen.”
Even their dishware is local, partnering with the Heritage High School Clay Club to make all of their plates and bowls. It was a 6-month project with the local high school with bi-weekly meetings to give the high school students real-world experiences and invaluable mentoring opportunities. The couple did as much of the décor on their own as possible, from painting to installing light fixtures. Their tastes combined created a rustic yet modern and clean interior with wood and copper elements that is aimed to make patrons feel comfortable enough to come for a dressed-up date night or to grab a bite after yoga class. “We strived for a comfortable environment where you can get quality food and drinks.”
As for the future, the couple hopes to help put Brentwood on the map for food and to serve as an inspiration for more places like Attraversiamo to open in the area. “We think it’s such a good thing,” said Anthony. “Most people in this community commute for work, so to come back home and then have to get ready to go back out to grab dinner, nobody wants to do that. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t do that here.” Anthony and Alyssa hope to see Brentwood follow in the footsteps of Sacramento with their huge farm to table community and utilize what we have locally. “It’s great for the area and for our kids, to learn a little bit about how things are grown and to support local businesses.”
Attraversiamo means “to crossover,” so Anthony and Alyssa invite you to expand your palate, try something different, get outside of your comfort zone, and enjoy the experience. They are open Wednesday-Thursday 3:00-9:00 p.m., Friday-Saturday 3:00-10:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., with drink and oyster happy hours every day from 3:00-7:00 p.m. and bubbly brunch on Sundays from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Address: 2485 Sand Creek Road, Brentwood, CA 94513
Tel: (925) 420-6506
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography