Roseland Apizza

Italian | Pizza
One of the best

A meal at Roseland starts innocuously with some very good, baked-here bread. From there, things get grand. Choose from a broad menu of hand-cut ravioli, lasagna, various parmigianas, spectacular hot and cold antipasti. Whatever else you eat, you must eat pizza, for this is one of the great pizzerias in Connecticut. The crust is what connoisseurs know as New Haven style: thin but not brittle, with enough brawn to support all but the weightiest combinations of ingredients and to allay the pizza-eater’s primal fears: slice collapse and topping slippage.

Some of the pizzas that come from these ovens are spectacularly lavish, such as shrimp casino topped with bacon, mozzarella, fresh garlic, and too many jumbo shrimp to count. Roseland also is a good place to sample the relatively uncomplicated Connecticut classic, white clam pizza. Recommended configuration on that one: no mozzarella, no tomato sauce, just a crowd of freshly-shucked Rhode Island clams strewn across a crust frosted with olive oil and scattered with bits of basil, parsley, and oregano, thin-sliced garlic, a twist of cracked black pepper, and a scattering of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. The nectar of the clams insinuates itself into the surface of the crust, giving every crunch exhilarating marine zest.

Roseland is known for huge portions. No one leaves without a tower of Styrofoam containers holding leftovers. Proprietor Gary Lucarelli once told us that he likes to see diners carry home his food. “They take it to their grandmother or aunt who can’t get out,” he beamed, thinking of all the nice old ladies who have the opportunity to enjoy a Roseland meal at home. “Being in the [Naugatuck] Valley, we get people with good appetites,” he explained. “They come in and knock off a ‘hot anti’ then have their sauteed escarole and a sausage pie or a plate of ravioli.” As he thought of these good neighbors enjoying their big meals, he raised a wine glass in a one-word toast to all of them: “‘Eat!’ I say.” He inhaled the bouquet of the wine (which he makes himself), took a sip, and repeated the toast that is his family’s way of life and the soul of Roseland: “Eat!”

What to Eat
Roseland Apizza, Pizza
Even an ordinary sausage and mozzarella pizza is something special at Roseland. The crunchy/chewy crust is a wonder of the culinary world.
Roseland Apizza, Special Garlic Bread
Special Garlic Bread
Super-duper garlic bread: topped with roasted peppers, prosciutto, and melted mozzarella.
Roseland Apizza, Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Fra Diavolo is not listed on the printed menu, but it is a frequent star on the blackboard. It was a challenge to eat all the shrimp, but I managed to do so. That fork at the right of the photo is a normal-size one. This plate is huge!
Roseland Apizza, Calamari
Fried calamari is a robust appetizer. Each nugget is sheathed in shattering-crisp crust.
Roseland Apizza, Spaghetti & Meatballs
Spaghetti & Meatballs
While Roseland has all sorts of great exotica on the menu, from lobster ravioli to clams casino pizza, you can't go wrong ordering the old-fashioned Italian classics. This plate of spaghetti and meatballs is well-nigh perfect.
Roseland Apizza, Bread
Every meal at Roseland starts with a basket of baked-that-day bread. It is dangerously delicious ... dangerous in the sense that it is all too easy to fill up on it even before your meal arrives. Many people get their leftover bread packed to take home along with everything else they didn't have enough appetite to eat. 'It makes wonderful toast in the morning!' advised Carolyn, our waitress.
Roseland Apizza, Tuna Pizza
Tuna Pizza
The blackboard menu noted that the tuna is Italian tuna, meaning that it's rich with olive oil and has real seafood character. Perked up with capers and laced with pieces of garden-fresh tomatoes and built upon a thin, crisp Neapolitan crust, it is yet another Roseland masterpiece. Oh, and that aromatic basil at the top of the photo is, of course, from the family garden.
Roseland Apizza, Shrimp & Spinach White Pizza
Shrimp & Spinach White Pizza
I forgot to count the number of shrimp strewn across this generous shrimp and spinach pizza, but it isn't so much the number that is amazing; it is their quality. They are big and muscular and radiant with luxurious flavor. There is no swankier pizza than this one.
Roseland Apizza, Arugula Pizza
Arugula Pizza
The blackboard menu advises that the arugula pizza is available only for customers eating at the restaurant: no take-out. The reason for that is evident when the pizza arrives. The base, a magnificently thin-crisp crust that doesn't begin to droop even at the point of a slice, is mounded with salad. The hot-and-cool, bread-and-veg, sweet-cheese-and-bitter-greens balances are a dazzling dining experience, but would not survive for long inside a take-out box.
Roseland Apizza, Shrimp Oreganate Pizza
Shrimp Oreganate Pizza
If I tell you that this pizza cost nearly $50 (market price, said the menu), you might think it cost too much. Wrong. For one thing, there must have been $30 worth of the plumpest, crunchy-sweet shrimp on earth piled atop it - so many that it was difficult to take a bite anywhere on any slice without getting some. This pizza easily fed two people with enormous appetites. For me, the chewy, crunchy, fire-flavored crust is priceless.
Roseland Apizza, Arugula Salad
Arugula Salad
Typical of everything served at Roseland, this salad was gigantic, big enough to be an appetizer for two in the restaurant, then another couple of side-salads for two the next day. When dining at Roseland, eating leftovers the next day is an essential part of the experience.
Hot Antipasto
Shrimp and Prosciutto Pizza
Penne and Sausage with Marinara Sauce
Zuppa da Clams
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday1pm - 9pm
Tuesday3pm - 9pm
Wednesday3pm - 9pm
Thursday3pm - 9pm
Friday3pm - 10pm
Saturday1pm - 10pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
6 stops | 205 MILES | 4 hr 34 min

East Coast Pizza Showdown

Connecticut, New York and New Jersey all can lay claim to the best pizza in America, maybe in the world. We want you to be the judge. Take this 224 mile long tri-state tour of cream of the crop pizzerias in each state and decide for yourself which location has the…

5 stops | 18 MILES | 48 min

Connecticut did not invent pizza, but a good argument can be made that it was in Connecticut that pizza was perfected. The evidence is in New Haven, on Wooster Street, home of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally's and, a few blocks up on State Street, Modern Apizza. What makes these pizzas special is crust.…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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