Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jun 19, 2007 03:55 PM


Planning to go to Rocca on Thursday night. Whats the feedback from people that have been there. Is it too soon to go or have they gotten some of the kinks out? Any favorite dishes?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Some favorite dishes: meatball slider, sardines, antipasti, scampi (actually shrimp), most of the pastas, especially the trofie, capellini, and corzetti, and the almond bark dessert.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I've had a few snacks at the bar 4 times in the last 3 weeks. Still trying to like the place because it's so close to where I live, but it's not happening. The food is very average and the service is just OK. As I mentioned previously, I read all of the hype including the March article in Boston magazine about the menu; "Three years planning, two trips to Italy, a dozen sit-down tastings, and innumerable drafts...", and I read all about what went into the design by Duffy Design and Korn Design and I was expecting great things from Rocca. Michela Larson and Gary Sullivan stated that they "wanted Rocca to be beautiful, natural, and rugged in the same moment." I think it's over-designed, uncomfortable and not rugged at all. I was hoping for a space that would preserve the old "warehouse feel" similar to what was done in the meatpacking district in NYC. The dining room has a very strange "cruise ship" feel with the blue wave in the middle of the ceiling, a very odd, risky, bad choice in my opinion. The configuration of the big bar is not conducive to socializing, people watching or TV watching. It's just not a comfortable, cool place to hang out and enjoy great food. The food is VERY average. I tried the meatball slider again last week, and again it was dry, tasteless and served on a hard, thick roll that was way too much bread. I've tried Rocca enough to know that unless I'm dropping my Zipcar off in the 500 Harrison lot, I'm not going to make it point to stop in. I give it one cold winter and the place is history. I know, Harrison Ave. is the new frontier, blah, blah, blah... I ain't buying it.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        My experience was OK but not great. I had more problems with the upstairs dining area than anything else. The food was fine, but unfortunatley I don't remember what I ate. Not a good sign because I remember meals like like I remeber a short story or book. The blue light of the upstairs bar is overwhealming and nobody looks good in such lighting. Lots of servers. The downstairs bar is FANTASTIC and a great place to meet freinds and take people. All in all I would say to go there and have fun, but stay downstairs. The owners are very passionate and talented people so give them a chance and I am sure it will get better and better.

      2. The frites with pesto mayo are dreamy.

        1. I'd wait. Was there Monday evening. As has been said before, great room with very marginal food. A classic case of a high end restaurant being run from the Front of the house. Not a good thing!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: stillworkinonthat

            That's an intriguing comment, "run from the front of the house." I'm not sure what you mean: perhaps, "Rocca's executive chef doesn't have enough input into how the restaurant is run"? Or do you mean something else? I'd welcome some further explanation,

            1. re: stillworkinonthat

              I've had a couple pretty good (maybe not great) experiences at the downstairs bar there over the last few weeks. I really like the trofie with pesto and in fact have had it my last two visits. The wine list is very reasonably priced, you just have to get past drinking wine out of goblets instead of proper wine glasses. In my opinion, it may not be a place that I would go far out of my way for, but for me, it works great as a neighborhood spot.

              1. re: lissy

                I second (or is it third, i think MC recommended it too) the trofie with pesto. Absolutely delicious and blew away everything else we tried that night by far.

            2. I went to Rocca specifically on account of the Almond bark dessert review photo that I saw in the Boston Globe one morning. The dessert did not disappoint, and it could fill 3 men. The portion size is large and the presentation is original and creative. Not to mention, who ever hears of "almond bar" on a dessert menu at a fairly sophisticated restaurant? I enjoyed it; you can read more on my experience with PHOTOs at

              hope you enjoy. Go there for the dessert, if anything, and there is a soothing atmosphere at night of water elements and contemporary interior.

              1 Reply
              1. re: divinebella

                The almond bark is by far my favorite thing there! I LOVE it!

              2. The bar is great! I love the meatball sliders

                2 Replies
                1. re: saltyair

                  I don't like the meatball sliders at all. I tried them 3 times and they are always dry. I also don't like the furniture and decor in the bar/lounge area. It reminds me of a Ramada Inn during the late 70's.

                  1. re: Falcon 64

                    One of my favorite apps is so simple but tasty - a very generous chunk of Parmigiano REggiano with local honey and toasted walnuts... it's divine...