Dublin’s Delrossi’s Trattoria celebrates 30-year anniversary

  • Delrossi's Trattoria is celebrating 30 years in business this September 16. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Delrossi's Trattoria is celebrating 30 years in business this Sept. 16. Below: David Delrossi. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Delrossi's Trattoria is celebrating 30 years in business this September 16. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Delrossi's Trattoria is celebrating 30 years in business this September 16. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Delrossi's Trattoria is celebrating 30 years in business this September 16. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/18/2019 10:10:27 AM

For 30 years, Delrossi’s Trattoria has been serving up good food and good music, nestled in an idyllic out-of-the-way spot in Dublin.

“People always say to me, ‘This must be like a dream come true,’” David Delrossi said. “I always have to say, ‘Well...’”

Because, Delrossi said, when he and his wife Elaina bought the house on 73 Brush Brook Road which would become Delrossi’s Trattoria, they had no ambitions of turning it into a food venue. Neither of them had any experience in the restaurant business, nor any aspirations to join it.

The couple ran Fiddler’s Choice Music, a music store in Jaffrey, and were looking for an investment property, or perhaps a second location for their store. 

The couple snapped up 73 Brush Brook Road after driving by it by chance, despite the poor condition of the interior. 

“It was totally run down. We didn’t know what we were going to do with it,” Delrossi said.

The Delrossi’s started a two-year-long renovation project on the house, which was once a residential rehabilitation center for Beech Hill Hospital. They played with the idea of using it as a bed and breakfast, but eventually decided to outfit it as a restaurant, with the idea they would lease it to an interested business owner. But a tenant never materialized.

“Though we didn’t try very hard,” Delrossi said.

Perhaps it was meant to be, because eventually, the Delrossis decided to put together their own menu of Italian dishes, some inspired by Delrossi’s family recipes, and open a trattoria – a type of Italian restaurant that is typically small and family-run.

Delrossi said his grandmother, who lived with his family growing up, was his inspiration. The homemade ravioli, gnocchi, tomato sauces and meatballs – Italian staples – are all from his family recipe box. He’s grown the menu, but said he’s kept it simple, partially in deference to the fact that Delrossi is not a trained chef. 

Other things, Delrossi said, he’s had to learn from scratch such as building a wine list. 

“I knew nothing about wine,” he said. Now, after many years of experimenting, tasting and reading on the subject, the restaurant has a list of 140 different bottles – mainly Italian vintages – to offer.

The Trattoria is literally home to the Delrossis, who live in an apartment above the restaurant. And they incorporated their love of music, particularly bluegrass, into their business. A last-minute addition to their renovations was a music stage, where live music could be played on Friday and Saturday nights. 

“The rest is history,” Delrossi said. 

Over the years, Delrossi’s Trattoria has hosted local bands, but also big-name artists such as Alison Kraus, Dave Mather, John Hartford and Norman and Nancy Blake.

“Some names we could never get to play here today,” Delrossi said. “And we felt honored – these people we had idolized playing in a room with maybe 80 people.”

The heyday of the live music has passed for Delrossi’s, with the height of its popularity beginning to wane by the mid-2000s. They still host the occasional musical guest, but not with the same frequency, Delrossi said. And, he said, he’s OK with the natural evolution of the music stage. 

“Sometimes, these things just happen, organically,” he said. “I never wanted the restaurant to have to depend on the music to keep us in business. Good food, modest prices, a comfortable atmosphere. That’s why people come back.”

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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