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Sonoma County Gazette
Lou & Kim Chambrone
Lou & Kim Chambrone

Ravioli, Gnocchi & Memories of Nana’s Cooking

Jul 1, 2020


By Peter Posert

Hungry? Get two sandwiches!“These are just like my Nana’s! They are soft and firm and have just the right texture. These are perfect!” That’s what Vesta said when she tried the gnocchi at Canevari’s. Nana’s pillows. Canevari’s gnocchi.  It’s not even what they’re famous for, but yeah, they are that good.

I was by Canevari’s the other day and had one of the best deli lunches in Sonoma County - a sandwich with a good amount of meat, plenty of veggies and a great Italian dressing sauce that lifted the whole layered concoction up to a plateau of greatness. 

Yet what got my attention was the potato salad.  Potato salad matters at lunch.  Potato salad is important to you too, isn’t it? If you are going to serve potato salad, make it good, please. Canevari’s potato salad features a beguiling hint of heat, maybe a touch of pepperoncini or cayenne, that gives it a bold assertive flavor. 

Best CheeseSteak!

It was so good in fact, I munched the whole little box of potato salad and left a half sandwich for the next day. If you like potato salad, ya gotta try this place.  Or opt for the delightful homemade chips with a touch of herbs that, like everything else at Canevari’s, is just a level-up better. 

You can take your sweet time decidin' this ain't a NYC deli!Canaveri’s makes specials every day, highlighted on big sandwich boards out front that are fun and inviting. One day maybe its Italian Cheese Steak, or Fresh Mozzarella, or Calabrese Sausage Sandwich or who knows what. These daily specials are made fresh to order. The Calabrese sandwich’s lively sausage was moderated beautifully by a mild provolone-like cheese and highlighted by perfectly executed sweet golden browned onions, the color of a West County hay field in summer. Perfect.

Here’s the real deal though. It’s not the specials or the tri-tip sandwiches or the potato salad or the gnocchi that should make you get in your car or bike right now and get on over to Canevari’s. 

Here’s what you need to know…

The Ravioli is to die for, please don't...This tiny corner deli has been churning out some of the best homemade ravioli in Santa Rosa for almost 100 years now. The current owner, Lou Chambrone, bought it from a guy who bought it from the son of the original owner who carried on the traditions of his father. 

Old Canevari came over on the boat and across America and up to Santa Rosa a hundred years ago with his friend old Traverso - they were those great lifelong adventuring friends you might only hear about in a buddy flick, but here in Santa Rosa, it’s a true story. So, now you can still grab a take-home box of wonderful original and traditional ravioli with a pint or two of exquisite sauce for about $20.00 and you’ll be the hero of the kitchen for the week. You see, at Canevari’s it’s all about the take home ravioli. Do you ever like ravioli?

I think you can get one of these shirts?The shrimp ravioli has a deep flavor profile that reminded me of making shrimp gumbo, when the shrimps are cooking in their shells and that cooking water is boiled down for the extra bit of flavor. Pair with the lemon cream sauce and you’ve got a winner. The vegetarian ravioli has a cool twist, maybe a touch of nutmeg perhaps behind all that mushroom and vegetable flavor that is refreshing and fun. Paired with the basic tomato sauce and you’ll be in nirvana-land at your dinner table. There are meat and cheese raviolis that sumptuously rise with complex and layered twists and turns on the palate. Every dish is like that at Canevari’s, richly flavored.

The traditional take-home raviolis make Canevari’s great, but there is one more thing that you should know about this local hidden legend. It takes a special kind of gumption to cover the tables of an Italian restaurant with red checkered table cloths. The old Union Hotel had those, I think, before they went upscale. I wish I saw them at the other old Italian places around, but alas, not to be. To pull out a red checkered table cloth in an Italian restaurant says something about who you are and what you are doing in this short little life on our spinning planet. To pull out a plastic red checkered table cloth for the picnic tables out front has its own level of wonderful chutzpah. I like it. That tells me, more than a $100 bill at some upscale place, in no uncertain terms, that they are making ravioli like nobody else’s business.

I like everything about Canevari’s. You will too. 

Now go get some ravioli right now.

Canevari’s Delicatessen 

695 Lewis Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404



Friday (4th of July (Observed))


Hours might differ

Saturday (4th of July)


Hours might differ

Sunday 11AM–6PM

Monday 10AM–7PM

Tuesday 10AM–7PM

Weds 10AM–7PM

Thursday 10AM–7PM


Friday (4th of July (Observed))


Hours might differ

Saturday (4th of July)


Hours might differ

Sunday Closed

Monday 10AM–6PM

Tuesday 10AM–6PM

Weds 10AM–6PM


Thursday 10AM–6PM





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