Tom Casabona and his wife Rose own the Red Rose Café in Palisade, which as of this week marked it's 5th anniversary, but earlier this summer Casabona marked a milestone himself, “I've been in the business for 40 years now, started right out of high school in cape cod and never stopped.”
In 40 years he has done a little of everything and got the encouragement he needed early on, “I love the business and the first few chefs I worked for told me I was a natural, told me to stay with it, so here I am.”
Casabona's experience and influence from his wife helped create a pretty unique menu at the red rose café, “My wife is Chinese from Vietnam and I'm New York Italian. I wanted to do Italian/American, she wanted to do Vietnamese/Chinese so we incorporated and do a little of both.”
The Red Rose Café wasn't always in Palisade. For almost 20 years Casabona did business in Denver and in 2004 decided to move to the western slope.
Casabona credits himself with bringing good dining to palisade, “When I first came to Palisade there wasn't a place to have dinner, breakfast and lunch but no dinner, I was shocked. I was the first one to bring good dining and now there are a number of good dining restaurants. For a small town it's a good dining town now.”
You can enjoy a meal at the Red Rose Café Tuesday through Sunday on Main St. in Palisade, and you can catch Casabona in action at the Peach Festival this month. He plans to demonstrate how to make peach stuffed quails and pork chops with a peach and brandy sauce.