Note: I've heard from a reader that the Italian Cottage has closed and there is a new place called Marciana's in its place
If you are a fan of spaghetti westerns, then you really owe yourself a visit to Italian Cottage in Red Bluff, California. I don't know if the restaurant's marriage of an Italian and a cowboy theme is intentional, or exactly what the owners were thinking, but it's somewhat interesting if nothing else. Add to that the pictures of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe on the men's and women's restrooms, respectively. The strip-mall restaurant is decorated in a cowboy theme, with wooden booths, pictures of cowboys and even sawdust all over the floor, but features waitresses dressed in short Tyrolean outfits serving standard Italian-American food. Don't ask me why.
The menu, while standard, was somewhat expensive. Small pizzas started at around $9, and pastas averaged about $10. They came with a couple slices of generic garlic bread, but soup or salad are extra.
Mike decided on the fettuccine alfredo, both because it's a favorite of his and because it's one dish we know Mika likes. She liked it alright, but that's just because she isn't very picky at her age. The milky sauce didn't taste at all like cheese, and was as bland as they come. Mike didn't like it at all, and felt it was a rip-off at about $10. I had the "meatball parmesan" which consisted of pasta in a light tomato sauce covered by 3 meatballs and cheese and baked. It was pretty good, Mike liked it much better than his fettuccine. Despite the price, neither portion was extremely generous.
We skipped dessert (none was offered anyway) and left quite disappointed by the restaurant. Next time we stop in Red Bluff we'll try someplace else.
Italian Cottage Restaurant
955 S Main St.
Red Bluff, CA 96080