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Restaurants & Bars 4

Rocca-Good restaurant, wrong night, or ? (longish)

carter | Jul 6, 200402:16 AM

Two S/M friends and I decided to get together tonight for my first experience at Rocca. They had been at least 3-4 times previously, and I took them at their word that it would be good, a la Angelini.
Well, let's just save anyone the time of reading this post - Angelini it is not only not but never will be.
Got there for 7p.m. reservation, and had a nice table toward the back, away from the soon to arrive table for 25 upstairs, and a nearly full house on a July 5, Monday night - go figure! Good bread arrives, we place an order for wine, selected by a companion which was a sangiovese/cab blend which did the evening justice, twice over.
Order a tri-colore salad and baked mussels as appetizers, to be split 3 ways. Salad appeared naked, and tasted it - they chopped the veggies, added some good cheeese, yet forget to dress it. Baked mussels were of the VERY small size, and baking them must be a trick, as to not overbake them. Any way, these needed to have a French touch with the broth - these were dry with modest to no flavor. A good garlic/olive oil dipping sauce saved these from the trash heap.
Then the buccatini(sp?) carbonara (highly recommended pasta)arrives looking DOA! The most lifeless small bowl of pasta to be shared 3 ways as a small bite each. Almost no discernable flavors at all, from any of the ingredients, and the mealy texture of the pasta alone would have driven an Italian nuts!
Then the 3 entrees of skirt steak, chicken liver ravioli(4), and half roasted chicken arrive. They advise you when you are seated that the portions are smallish, and are meant to be shared. Well, no kidding!!! The skirt steak had 7 smallish slices, well prepared medium rare. The chicken liver ravioli were quite good, yet the portion was just 4, for around $12 or more, maybe $16. And the half roasted chicken was without question the smallest half chicken I have ever seen - thought it was emaciated, it was that small. I have seen bigger quail! The good news was that it was one of the highlights of the evening, as things turned out.
In all, a disaster from a food perspective, save the chicken based dishes - ravioli and entree. Pasta, a mainstay of the place, was dreadful. The wine was good, the servers were overworked due to the larger than expected number of customers for a July 5 Monday, yet as attentive as could be, given the circumstances.
Total tab, $180 including tip.
Do they deserve a second chance? Maybe!
Would I give it to them - doubtful!

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