Rose Pistola was my favorite Italian restaurant for a year or so circa 1997, from the time it opened until Reed Hearon left. Hadn't eaten there in years, so last night we went back out of curiosity.
The farinata ($8) was as good (and as filling) as ever, though I preferred the old version with olives and anchovies to the single olive and sage one on the current menu. The mixed cured fish plate ($12) was good though I think it used to be better. Seafood spaghetti ($23 for a large serving) was delicious, mix of mussels, squid, not sure what else with a slight bit of tomato and saffron. Whole branzino roasted in the wood oven with potatoes and olives ($34) was tasty and cooked just right, as were the sides of mixed summer squash and spinach ($6 each). Finished with a nice plate of three cheeses (good but too cold) with roasted hazelnuts, walnut bread, and some incongruous candied fruit ($12). Generous portions except for the cured fish.
Drank a bottle of the delicious, hard-to-find Vignalta Sirio dry muscat ($34). Would have preferred the "Aragosta" vermentino ($23) but they had the 2002 which is just too old.
Service wes professional and friendly. Beautiful room and nice atmosphere as ever. Seemed like all the other diners were tourists.
Overall, quite good, but when you factor in the price, not very competitive, at least for a full meal.