It was my wife’s birthday last week and I wanted to take her someplace new, but not break the bank. I looked around the web a bit and had a tough time deciding, finally settling on Rocky’s of Northville. It looked like it would be a good value and was a little different than a lot of the standard places that are around.
First Impressions: We got there a few minutes late and the place was much busier than we expected, especially on a night that everyone seemed to be fearing the coming “storm”. We had a 7:30 reservation and were seated immediately. The place is decorated for Christmas, but tastefully. We had a booth with a view of the front room and could hear the music in the bar area a little bit. The place was pretty big and emptied out a bit as the night went on.
After some waiting and debating, we decided that we would both be having meat and got a bottle of Rock Rabbit Shiraz. The wine menu was very reasonable with a good mix of bottles and glasses. Lots of wine in the $25->$40 range, and maybe half the bottles available by the glass.
Wine: We got the wine shortly after and it was pretty good. The glasses on the other hand were really bad, just poorly designed for drinking and cheap. The lip was too far in and you had to almost turn it upside down to drink it. We asked for other glasses and the white glasses were better, by a little.
Appetizer: Then our appetizer came, a Smoked Salmon Pate spoon. A little spoon of smoked salmon mixed with boursin cheese, it was very good and served with crackers. Just a little something to snack on while we waited.
Soups: Shortly thereafter, our soups came (all entrees come with either Soup or Salad, a nice deal), Black Bean soup for me and New England Clam Chowder for my wife. I love Black Bean soup and this was a great version. It had some andouille sausage in it, which added a really nice spice. Good and thick, and an unfortunately small cup. I could eat this again and again. My wife’s Clam Chowder was good, but nothing special. It was pretty thin and had little texture to it. A few clams, but not much else.
Mains: After our soups, our entrees came out. I had one of the specials: Venison London Broil and Pan Seared Scallops with Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Mint/Apple Salad. The venison was cooked medium-rare, but lacked any real good flavor to it. I used the sauce and it was pretty good, but lacked something extra. There were 2 scallops that came with it (I have no idea why other than the venison portion was pretty small) and they were good. Well cooked, fresh, but could have used a sauce to go with them. The sweet potatoes were very good, mashed and served under the venison. I could barely get to the Squash, but the little I had was very good. My wife had the Beef Short-Ribs with Mashed Potatoes. The ribs were perfectly cooked, nice and tender, but again lacked a little something. My wife said that she thought the chef was afraid of using his spices, and I would have to agree with that. The mashed potatoes were ok, but nothing special. The sauce was good, but again, missed something.
As it was a birthday dinner, dessert was next. We had a Saunders Cream Puff with Moose Tracks Ice Cream. It was good, but I wished the puff was a bit softer. And we were stuffed at the end.
Overall, we’ll be back there or to Steve and Rocky’s. Everything was good, I’d be back for the soup alone, but the place was just a bit off. A lot of fish on the menu, so I’ll be after the fish on my return visit to try something else. Our server, Carla, was very good, knowledgable about the menu and very willing to help out however she could.
One final note: If it is birthday time, join the Celebrated Guest Club, you get $20 off the birthday meal, plus 2 $15 gift certificates (one for Steve and Rocky’s), all for a cost of $25. Worth it if you think you’ll be going back.
(Website not with updated menu, but it hasn’t changed much)