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Mar 10, 2008 07:49 AM

RW - Rocca

We actually didn't plan to go to Rocca for RW initially. We were meeting with friends for dinner last night at Toro, only to arrive (at 6:45p) to find that Toro is part of RW and they're completely full. So we quickly called Rocca and got a 8:15pm reservation.

We got to Rocca way early for our reservation - around 7:15pm. They actually were able to seat us by 7:35pm so that was nice.

RW menu has 5-6 apps and entrees to choose from, and 4 desserts. They do not offer regular menu during RW.

Apps: Our friends both ordered Capellini (tossed with tiny clams & parsley) which looked delicious. I had White Bean Minestrone and husband had Farinata (chickpea flat bread with caramelized onions, mushrooms & sage). I liked my soup very much, and was happy to find the pasta cooked al dente (used to mushy pasta in soup). I think all 4 of us were pleased with our apps.

Entrees: Quite disappointing. 2 of us had Braised Short Ribs (with creamy polenta, brussels sprouts & horseradish gremolata) and 2 had Grilled Hanger Steak (with Ligurian olive butter, rosemary fingerlings & grilled green onions). My short ribs was tender and flavorful, but the food was lukewarm! When I asked around the table, it turns out all FOUR of us had lukewarm food! Both husband and I thought the food tasted good but turned off by the lukewarm. It really is a shame as I think we really would have enjoyed it much more if it were hot!

Dessert: 3 of us had gelato - pretty big size, another one had chocolate cake.

Overall, so-so experience. Definitely not an experience that would make me want to go back there any time soon!

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  1. Wow, what a different experience from ours!
    How strange! TC and I chose Rocca for RW cuz I really liked the menu I saw.

    We were impressed enough by the food, value and staff, that we will definitely be back for a Sunday supper as soon as possible. The free parking next door really clinched it, for my parking-phobic partner!

    We loved the lofty design of the bar, and were seated early for our 7pm reservation. The dining room was pretty full for a Sunday night; for any night, but, of course, they’re doing solid restaurant week covers.

    Despite this, or maybe because there was no two-level ordering, the staff was friendly and helpful. Our server explained that the panzotti, which I ordered for my appetizer, was actually a little ravioli-like steamed dumpling of kale, on a bed of Parm and Ricotta sauce. She also explained the Buridda (which I knew), and told us what kind of fish it contained that night.

    The Commodore chose the Farinata, which he greeted with a little kid’s “its like pizza!” exclamation of delight, and shared with me. Wonderful. We’ll have to go back for more.

    I chose the Buridda, of course, and the sweet, shrimp and clam infused broth had 4 large, whole (head to tail) shrimp in it, white fish, clams, and mussels….too little toast, but, we asked, and were quickly given more of their excellent foccaccia….It was a little cold, in a strange handling of a lovely bread….They must have gone thru a ton of it; you’d think they’d keep it out of the reefer…

    TC had the Grilled Hangar Steak, a cut he’s not so used to. He said it was very flavorful, but a little tough, which, I think, is pretty par for the course with that cut…He loved the Ligurian butter, which was quickly melted by the heat of the steak.

    TC chose the Cicciolata Bis for dessert; an intense, heavy chocolate ganache in a chocolate torte-like crust…His eyes rolled up in his head, but my Pine-Nut custard was even better. So rich, and covered with pine nuts…. Lovely mouth feel! Once again, I thought the desserts should have been served more at room temp, but our cooked foods were all at a nice hot temp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: galleygirl

      I'm glad you had a better experience than we did! I am surprised by the free parking, though it wasn't bad finding a parking spot near Toro (I think the *key* is going on Sunday). I wasn't completely thrilled with the service by our server, but others (valet, maître d', bartender, coat check person) were all nice and courteous.

    2. Went to Rocca for RW last night and overall had a very good experience. It was my first time there and I thought the service and decor were both excellent. My dinner companion and I both had meals that we enjoyed and both said we would be back. Having already read the initial post here I was looking out for food temp: while my plate/food wasn't piping hot (which would lead me to think it had rested under a heat lamp) it was hot enough to enjoy.

      1. Four of us went to RW at Rocca - we had viewed the posts of others. We had a great evening of food and drink. Everything was wonderful. The only down side -- The noise was so loud we were unable to hold much of a conversation.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Not a criticism, but more of an inquiry...isn't there always some debate over why Americans require piping hot food, even when it's not intended to be? For example, I don't eat meat, but I thought beef benefits from several minutes of "resting" at room temperature to let it sit in its juices and bring the flavor out?

            I am curious...I would like to bring my meat-eating DC to Rocca and I'm sure he would be tempted by the Hanger steak.

            3 Replies
              1. re: digga

                meat rests after exposure to high heat to allow juices and heat to distribute evenly, but even resting only needs to occur at a temperature of about 110-120 degrees. Our body temperature is 98.6 degrees, and the perception of "lukewarm" food is usually food that is 5- 10 degrees above that. At around 120 degrees, food is sensed by most diners as "hot". So even if you order a medium rare steak, there is no reason it cannot be served as reasonably "hot". A server who tells you otherwise is misinformed. And there is no reason vegetables and starches should ever be served at anything than steaming hot, otherwise by the time you finish you will have cold food.

                Sorry if that was a long rant but cold or lukewarm food is a real pet peeve of mine. Recently had a dinner at a tapas restaurant where the food like lobster and quail were cool by the time they reached the table. disgusting.

                1. re: digga

                  I too experienced the lukewarm food at Rocca, alas on the braised shortrib as well. The plate itself (physical plate) was cold, which i found odd.. as generally cooked entrees, esp. a slow cooked braised meat, should require at least a warm plate. I did send back and it was replaced 5 minutes later by a steaming hot version of said shortrib, which arrived in a hot plate, and was meh regardless of the temp. Oh well. Loved my apps and bar snacks however.