Restaurateur Family Opens Two New Downtown Eateries
By Susan Larson
The Gonzalez family, owners of the popular Soup and Taco at 813 Caroline St., has opened two new eateries in downtown Fredericksburg. The Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative hosted ribbon cuttings January 15 for La Rosetta International and Eight-O-Six Bistro.
La Rosetta had been in Stafford for nine years. “We always liked Fredericksburg, and we wanted to bring La Rosetta here,” said owner Jose Gonzalez. “The opportunity came when the lease expired.”
Jose and his business partners began looking at available properties. “When we saw The Chimneys, we fell in love with it,” he said.
The Chimneys, named for the stone chimneys at each end of the historic house at 623 Caroline St., was originally constructed in 1771-73. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April 1975. The two-story, Georgian-style home has rooms on each side of a central hall on each level.
Guests to La Rosetta are greeted in the central hall. The smaller rooms on each floor serve as dining areas. One of the back rooms has been transformed into a beautiful bar.
“It’s the size we were looking for,” Gonzalez said. “We wanted something big so we can provide our catering from inside the premises.”
In Stafford, La Rosetta focused on Northern Italian cuisine. Head chef Freddy Gonzalez began training in an Italian kitchen at about age 16, and later worked at two renowned Italian restaurants: Geranio Ristorante in Old Town Alexandria and the former Alpine in Arlington.
La Rosetta’s menu has expanded in Fredericksburg. “Since there are already several Italian restaurants in downtown Fredericksburg, we thought it a good opportunity to broaden our menu,” Jose said. The family is adding influences from their Latin background and their knowledge of other international cuisines, including French and German.
The family has also opened Eight-O-Six Bistro at 806 William St., in the former Jake and Mike’s location. “Mr. Adams, the landlord, came to me about this place while La Rosetta was still in process,” Jose said. “I thought of family members Antonio and his wife Roberta. Antonio, my cousin, is like a brother. We offered them to be a part of this. That’s how it came along.”
Eight-O-Six Bistro features new and traditional American cuisine, with a Latin influence. Antonio and Roberta Pacheco have decided to present theme nights, which will be posted on Facebook.
Parking has been a problem at the location, but now Merryman’s Service Center next door and The House of Milk and Honey across the street have made their parking lots available after 5 p.m.
Cooking has long been a family affair for the Gonzalez family. “We’re all from El Salvador,” said Jose. “Both Mom and Grandma were great cooks. It then came naturally to Freddy and my twin brother Robert,” he said. “With them, it’s an art.”
Family heritage and great training are not the only keys to the family’s culinary success.
“Robert and I like to eat out a lot, and we like different cuisines,” said Jose. “Robert has a good taste. So whatever he tastes he says, ‘Oh, I can make this better.’” Then he does.”
For more information on each restaurant, visit their Facebook pages.
Soup and Taco
Jay’s Downtown Sports Lounge Opens
The Virginia Deli Opens New Location
Follow Fredericksburg.Today on Facebook, and on Twitter at @Fxbg2day