Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >
Apr 2, 2009 07:16 PM

Rocco's Trattoria - New Canaan; Any idea?

Jfood noticed a new restaurant nearing completion in the Walgreen's "mall" (old Shaw's) named Rocco's Trattoria.

Anybody know anything about this place?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. nice website menu, good price point and delivery. looks like a couple of weeks away.

      1. Wow! I hope it delivers on the promise. Everything looks right, not let's hope is stays true to his Nonni's memory, and doesn't become yet another dumbed-down Italian-American place.

        BTW, has anyone ever eaten at that Italina panini place on Bedford, by Tign, and Johnny Rockets?

        Really good, and a nice place for lunch..pizzas, panini, wine, beer...great afternoon stop

      2. Menu looks really good, decent price point, like the guy's philosophy. Hope it's winner here in NC.

        1. jfood drove by and saw people inside so stopped to look in. Staff looked like they were getting ready.

          So when jfood went home he went on web-site and tried for a reso. Opentable is now accepting reservations so the opening in a week.

          jfood scarfed a deuce.

          9 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            I recently ordered from planet pizza...( I know, I know), and it was delivered in a Rocco's Trattoria -New Canaan box. I am assuming it is owned by the same people that own Planet.

            1. re: Put a Sake in it

              nothing of the sort on the website. jfood does not think so.

              1. re: jfood

                I wouldn't want anyone to know I was affiliated with planet either. :-). Very odd coincidence, especially because I ordered from the Planet in Shelton!

                Here is a picture of the box, if you were at all curious.

                1. re: Put a Sake in it

                  Cool looking box though. Don;t to have real pizza in Shelton? Planet is horrible. Noe sure which worse them or Pinocchio. Are kids will never know good if they arefed that.

                  1. re: jfood

                    Ah yes, I am a stones throw away from Roseland. However, as for delivery it is only planet. It was a cold rainy wednesday, I took the good (delivery) with the mediocre (planet's pizza) !

                  2. re: Put a Sake in it

                    Uh, no coincidence. The dude owns Planet Pizza, or at least his family does, as reported in this week's New Canaan Advertiser. My optimism has shriveled like the cheese on one of their pies.

                    1. re: CTburgerlover

                      oh crap. Butthe article also says that the chef is Lisa Varnberg-Sierra, who trained at the French Culinary Institute and loves Mediterranean cooking. Oh well, gotta support local business and hope it's good. If it resembles PP then...

                      1. re: jfood

                        Give this place a try. I understand the chef worked under Todd English. Planet Pizza may not be great pie. But they poured some money into Rocco's and got a great chef.

                        1. re: robfood

                          jfood already has reso's and will try in a couple of weeks. he is looking forward to it and hopes hes did not learn any bad habits from Todd.

            2. Went tonight.

              First impressions...ample parking, nice decor. Dining room was large, not too loud even when packed (as it was by 8pm), nice little bar area. They really put a lot of work into the place, and it shows.

              Showed up at 7pm without a reservation with the wife and kids in tow. Was told the wait would be 30-45 minutes, despite three vacant four-tops, couple of 6-tops available. Must have been maxed out with reservations. Happily, wound up only waiting 15 minutes.

              Waiter was very friendly, got us our drinks and bread/olive oil quickly. Heard some people complain to FOH about the bread being "cold". Ours was fine... room temp, not warm, but that doesn't bother me. If you want warm bread, you can go to Bertucci's.

              The wine list was good, featuring pretty much all Italian labels, yet with enough variety that there should be something for everyone. They also had a nice list of cocktails that are worth a look.

              For an app, we shared a couple of crostini's...mashed white bean & pancetta and the speck & gorgonzola with truffled honey. Both were tasty.

              My wife ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara, I wanted to try their pizza. Torn between the Margarita (fresh mozz, chopped tomato, torn basil) and the Nonna (buffalo mozzarella, crushed san marzano's, basil chiffonade). Here was the only glitch of the night, I ended up being served the wrong pizza. I ordered the Nonna, got served the Bella Donna. Which was OK because...a.) It's only the 3rd night open, Donna rhymes with Nonna, and... b.) I actually really liked the two bites I had of the Bella Donna (roasted red pepper, goat cheese, red onion).

              Anyway, they responded a quickly and apologetically, and I got the correct pizza well before the wife finished her pasta, which was a pretty good dish. One hope...they should have homemade pasta. The spaghetti was definitely boxed. Not sure about the ravioli or totelli dishes. Better than the spaghetti was the pizza. Nice size, it was very tasty, fresh ingredients, nicely cooked.

              The general manager is a very warm young lady who, after chatting with my wife, offered us dessert on the house. Very kind gesture, but the kids were getting antsy after polishing off their pasta from the children's menu. Plus, being open only 3 days, the gaps between visits from our waiter were (understandably) a tad long, so we were ready to split. The bill was less than $100 with tip, not bad for a family of four who had an app, two adult entrees, two kids entrees, three glasses of vino, two sodas, and a cocktail.

              So...overall, a welcome addition to the 'hood, at least on the first try. It reminded us of Strada 18, just a couple of notches below. Certainly some expected kinks are still being worked out, but it looks like they are on their way to being a nice option for us here in NC. Look forward to going back soon!

              1 Reply
              1. re: CTburgerlover

                Thanks CT. Jfood heading ther next week. We could use a mid priced place in town, there are just so many Balaggios jfood can eat.

                BTW mrs jfood went to Chef Louis' the other night and was pleasantly surprised. She hadn;t been since the second week it was open when it was horrible and now she cannot wait for the two adult jfoods to go.

              2. We went on Friday. The crostinis to start are very nice. decent bruschetta, but i thought the tastiest was the white bean with panchetta crostini. For entrees, my wife got the chicken parm. They tried to be creative, one piece fried, one piece oven roasted, and a square of fried mozz. In our opinion, the dish just did not work. i needed some acid to counter all that richness, perhaps some greens or something on the dish. the mozz was too oily. I have the spaghetti carbonara, which was good, but the pasta was straight out of the box. WE got some chocalate dessert which was quite good.
                The inside of the restaurant is very nice and the service was adequate. My problem is that there is better Italian in New Canaan (Aloi) and better pizzas at an italian restaurant (Sole). I just don't see the niche they are going to fill. Plus, it really is no cheaper. I still spent $130 or so for two of us and i was the only one drinking.
                I wish they would have put in some type of chophouse. that would have filled a need.

                14 Replies
                1. re: LW1

                  According to their website the crostinis are $3 each, the chicken parm is $19, the carbonara is $14 and the choc dessert is $9; thats about $60 total (inc tax & tip). What were you drinking?

                  1. re: feastorfamine

                    we had four of the crostinis, you only get one per $3. I had two glasses of their cheapest red wine $9. My daughter ( i did not include her because she usually only adds about $6-8 to the bill, but since you asked) had spaghetti and meatballs which they charged us $13 for (the meatballs were $8 on the kids menu but she wanted past) and my wife had 2 cokes (the first one they brought out was diet and it took about 10 minutes to get it fixed). I'm not griping about the place, i just think there is better italian for the money in town. Tax and tip... sorry, two coffees with dessert. I can show you the itemized receipt if you would like. Anyway, i hope they do well. The wine shop next door is pretty good by the way. In general, i think the town made a huge mistake allowing that terrible strip mall there. They could have designed it much better so that it looked nicer.

                    1. re: LW1

                      Not the worst mistake the town has made....believe me.

                      Anyway, I can't really complain about the "strip mall" we have a great alternative to CVS, a nice wine shop, and good restaurant with ample parking. Don't really see what's so terrible about it. Definitely better than the eyesore that preceded it.

                      1. re: LW1

                        "They could have designed it much better so that it looked nicer."

                        Do you remember Shaw's? Violated both site and smell criteria and the building next store is undergoing an Environmental Cleanup. Let's not even go to allowing Subway in town and now we have in place of Villarina's. Does the word boycott come into play?

                        Jfood will take a high end wine store, an alternative to the parking nightmare of CVS and an Italian bistro any day of the week.

                        1. re: jfood

                          Completely agree with everything you said until you brought up the need to ever step inside cvs or walgreens. there is just no need in my opinion. you can go to Langs or Varnums for your meds and the rest of the stuff can be bought at the grocery store. is a joke. They don't even bother to put up a decent sign. Is it better than the place being empty though? not sure. Crumbs btw is taking down their brown paper and you can see the inside of the store now. Not a cupcake fan, but they are paying us $100/sq ft and i'm all for that.

                          1. re: LW1

                            jfood only wishes that L & V had the meds in stock, which has been difficult historically as well as a national network so one can tap into the med history no matter where. jfood will never set foot in

                            there are a couple of crumbs cupcakes that are pretty good and some that should turn into their store name.

                            some people were aghast at pain quotidien but it has turned out pretty well so far.

                    2. re: LW1


                      if youwant to goto Aloi during the week, go to and click on $25 certificate for $10. The in promotional code type (DISH) and the $10 is reduced to $2. So for $2 you receive a $25 crtificate to Aloi. Unbelievable deal, but only good during the week.

                      1. re: jfood

                        Thanks for the heads up jfood. I will do that. Their home made pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe is calling my name... or do i want the bolognese.... hmmmmm

                        1. re: LW1

                          bolgnese or the pea cavatelli with sausage for jfood, maybe both.

                      2. re: LW1

                        Did you have the pizza? I thought their pizza was better than Sole.

                        I think it could potentially fill the void left by Prezzo, if they would just make their own pasta.

                        1. re: CTburgerlover

                          Two words for great pizza in town...

                          Joes Pizza

                          Get the bacon and tomato.

                          1. re: jfood

                            we have a pizza problem in my household. i like Frank Pepe's style pizza while my wife likes Colony. I like Joe's in town but we rarely order since not everyone in the house likes it. Not sure how to get over this problem.

                            1. re: LW1

                              Easy answer three pizzas. sounds like a dinner and breatfast the next day approach.

                            2. re: jfood

                              Agreed, we are regulars at Joe's, almost said hello to you last Friday as you were awaiting your bacon & tomato and I was leaving with my Sausage and Roasted Pepper and wings..