FoodView – Tresetti’s, A Downtown Original

By Chris Murphy
Tresetti’s – a 90s Start Up and Great Today

Some people just have to be first, and back in 1994, downtown Modesto was in trouble. The 80s saw many closures and something good had to happen. Mitch and Tammy Maisetti were owners of the Tiki Lounge. In 1993 the Graffiti Cruise ended and they looked to do something new. Mitch believed that something good was going to happen in downtown. They spied a bar called the Starlight, with patrons at the par, all with their pagers on the bar. There was a small French-themed restaurant next door and the two places were a good fit. Mitch and Tammy believed that it was the right time to invest in downtown and with Paul Tremayne, they created TRE- SETTI’s. While cleaning out the old bar they were listening to NPR’s World Café and Tresetti’s World Café was born.

Back in the 90s, the Downtown Improvement District with Nancy Young was really a big help to new businesses trying to open up. From the time Tresetti’s opened, they were part of the excitement as their amazing food and the wine shop was an upscale game changer for downtown. As the State Theatre got going, there began to be some nightlife again.

The food was innovative, the atmosphere was fun and the “Laissez les bon temps rouler” motto that is still posted in the restaurant reflected the attitude, the friendship and most of all the food. The Tresetti’s Gumbo is a flat out hall of fame. Mitch and Tammy loved New Orleans and the cuisine there and many of those flavors are found at Tresetti’s. Fat Tuesday celebrations were part of the Tresetti culture for years and some of their parties were so great, they won MAMA Awards for “Best Event” and the trophies are proudly displayed in the restaurant. Over the years they expanded into the next space and Tresetti’s thrived, with amazing dishes as Chicken Cordon Bleu, great steaks and chops, crab cakes and their famous calamari. One of Modesto’s best appetizers is the roasted whole garlic with Brie with fresh baguette. You really can’t dine there without ordering this.

Over the years, they opened Jax on H, named one of their sons. Sadly Mitch passed away in 2014 after battling cancer and Tammy and son Jordan pressed on and have reinvented the dining experience. Jordan’s skill in the kitchen and menu choices have moved Tresetti’s forward. They added dining to the former wine shop and these tables on the corner of 11th and J offer some of the best downtown views and epic people watching. The menu is vibrant and tasty with many of the favorites as staples. Over the recent years, Tresetti tacos are the go to and the menu gets great seasonal updates. Most importantly, they treat everyone as if they are friends and welcome new visitors, especially those from out of town so they feel welcome.

COVID changed everything and like all restaurants, Tresetti’s adjusted to Grab N Go with a scaled down menu, and recently have expanded their patio both ways down the sidewalk. Tammy and Jordan are so very grateful to their long time regulars who make a point to eat there during this pandemic. The patio is lively, fun, safe and socially distanced and has the Tresetti spirit, served by a wonderful team.

What does the future hold? Jordan is optimistic. “If we can make it through this, we can make it through anything” he comments. It is all about the relationships and the teamwork with all of the downtown restaurants. They welcome new competition as it brings more people to downtown and they are supportive of the new efforts to traffic calm and promote outdoor dining, but they look forward to being able to return to the inside experience. They are proud that downtown Modesto is all locally owned and independent restaurants and gives our downtown character. They are hoping that many of the rule changes are permanent as it really has opened opportunities.

Best of all, Tresetti’s made a big jump in 1994 and it changed downtown Modesto. Now in 2020, they are still leaders, give back to the community, support downtown events and still excited about opening every day. Jordan is quick to point out that they are the only Dodgers place in town. So game on.

If you haven’t every tried Tresetti’s, please do so and let us know what you think. We know you will be treated as family at this wonderful family restaurants. The best restaurants in town are where the owners know their customers. I and my family have felt like family at Tresetti’s since walking in back in 1996 and am proud to be a regular. I hope you become one too.

927 11th St Modesto 95354
11 am – midnight Tues-Thurs till 2 am Fri & Sat

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.