Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rocco's Italian Grille

So I went a bit crazy this weekend with the whole Magical Dining Month-eating at Rocco’s on Saturday night and Le Coq Au Vin on Sunday. But, when the prices are so good, how can you resist?

I’d been to Rocco’s Italian Grille a few times before for family dinner and have always had both a great time and a great meal. We got there pretty early on Saturday (yep, after a quick afternoon trip to the Wine Room on Park Ave.) and were greeted with a huge smile and plenty of open tables.

I couldn’t resist the Bruschetta of the day for my appetizer-Marscarpone and Gorgonzola cheeses with artichokes and arugula. And, for the record, they had me at Marscarpone! Hints of sweetness with tanginess from the Gorgonzola and bitterness from the arugula were a perfect match. The bread was perfectly toasted and this dish was a hit all around the table!

My entrée was the Chicken breast filled with fresh Mozzarella, roasted red peppers and prosciutto. It was served atop slightly wilted spinach and diced tomatoes with a light Marsala sauce. The entrée was good; don’t get me wrong, but nothing too special. First off, from personal experience, fresh Mozzarella never does well as a stuffing for chicken. It doesn’t hold up well in heat and really breaks down and melts out of the chicken. For the rest of the stuffing-it was pretty sparse with one sliver of red pepper and a few slices of Prosciutto. My spinach was perfectly wilted and quite fresh-but was not stemmed! (For the record, after spending many hours of my life de-stemming fresh spinach, this has become one of my biggest food pet peeves. Look how ugly it looks! Yes, it’s a pain and very time consuming, but it’s all about the details!) The Marsala sauce was very flavorful but definitely on the runny side. All in all, my entrée was tasty (the chicken was cooked perfectly) but I wouldn’t order it again. At the same time, the thought has crossed my mind that maybe the filling was skimpy because….we were ordering off the Magical menu. I hope that’s not the case, but, realistically, I’m sure it was.

Dessert all around the table was the Cannoli (plus after dinner drinks…). I’m not the biggest fan of Cannoli-I find it rather cumbersome to eat, and yes, while breaking into it I sent a piece flying across the table. But the filling was absolutely delicious with a great texture (not too mealy) and perfect hints of orange flavoring.

I had a great time at Rocco’s and am sure I’ll be back in the future. Both our server and management were very friendly and gracious. The ambience is relaxed and comfortable without the pretentiousness of some fine dining establishments. Plus, Rocco’s is now featuring in depth Italian regional tasting menus for both food and wine. Once the Magical month of September is completed, they’ll go back to focusing on one sub-region of Italy per month. Great concept! Especially for those of us that are a fan of everything Italy!

And, as usual, I fell into the Magical Dining Month trap-spend a little on food and a lot of alcohol! We had a fantastic Dolcetto D’Alba plus after dinner drinks. But, as I’ve been saying a lot these past few weeks-it’s worth it to get a chance to experience fantastic food experiences at some of our amazing Orlando restaurants! At great food prices!

Don’t forget to check out the Magical website:
And Rocco’s website for a more detailed menu:

Rocco's Italian Grille on Urbanspoon
Check back in a few days for my Le Coq Au Vin review!

1 comment:

astronette said...

A request... can you try to recreate that bruschetta? It was awwwwweeeesssooooommmmme.