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“Wonderful Italian in Rochester”
Review of Osteria Rocco

Osteria Rocco
Ranked #46 of 1,280 Restaurants in Rochester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $35
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
Dining options: Reservations, Takeout
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Takeout
Pittsford, NY
Level Contributor
77 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Wonderful Italian in Rochester”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

It took some doing after all of this time but a group of us were finally able to obtain a table at Rocco. I've eaten at the bar before so it was nice to finally be able to sit and enjoy a meal.

I think what I like best about Rocco is that it is a small and simple menu executed very well. From the beginnings as a pizza place, which they do very well, it has morphed into something quite wonderful with the additional offerings.

The grilled octopus is a wonderful appetizer. I'd highly recommend it. They do a nice job of charring the octopus just so which results in it being very tender. I've had the dish three times now and each time, they've done it just right.

The salads are solid - the asparagus with cheese pudding (had it last evening and loved it), the gorgonzola & walnut offering (traditional, but again, done very well), and the escarole & radicchio are all a great break either before the main course or after the appetizer (I always prefer my salads after the main to course to cleanse the palate). A friend tried the arancini and pronounced them excellent. I wouldn't know. He ate the entire thing without sharing . . .

The pizzas, as I said, are always done quite well but a few of my favorites on the menu are the pasta dishes - the gnocchi is made fresh and oh so tender, not potato but semolina and that's an interesting twist. The lasagna with three cheeses comes a bit different than you might expect but is quite good. But if they have a special, order that and not from the regular menu. You won't be disappointed. As with all pastas, it's all about the sauce and they do spend some time to create some complexity in their sauces which I appreciate. I think they do a superb job with the cream based sauces (I'm very particular about my taste in red sauces, but they are still wonderful).

Last evening I passed on the other offerings to try the lamb, which I dearly love when it's done correctly and here it was. Perfectly very rare, charred on the outside and bloody red on the inside. A big and hearty cut and at only $26, a very good price for lamb.

I do wish they might expand their offerings for dessert. The butterscotch budino is heavenly. This is something that I've since had elsewhere (at the new Avinno restaurant), that was poorly replicated. I'm not a big fan of butterscotch, but here the flavors meld so well. It's just an awfully rich dessert and at times, I could go for a few other simple offerings but then again, Italian restaurants don't leave you feeling unsatisfied with something light so I guess I just have to buckle down and eat!

It's always bustling, so Rocco's isn't where I would take someone for a romantic meal. For an intimate fine dining experience, I think a place like Warfield's is much higher on the list, but it's a great place to enjoy downtown. Wonderful if you can get in with clients as they'll leave very impressed with their experience and it's important to have that kind of scene in downtown where the foodie scene struggles a bit.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    64
    24
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    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
131 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“An Italian Champion in a City of Italian Restaurants”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

This small restaurant at the edge of downtown Rochester has never disappointed this diner on several visits. One enters into a cozy bar, and the host, hostess and batender conveys a seemingly sincere greeting, as you are escorted to the dining room next door.
Italian food is all about freshness, quality components, and presentation. Rocco is a star on all counts. Bread, many ingredients, and all deserts are house made; this is not a place for ordinary fare. Appetizers and entrees are creative, often unique, and a joy to the palette.
Service is properly attentive and professional.
On one occasion, it was an anniversary dinner. We noticed that the place is a favorite with a young crowd, but also business diners.
Reservations are a must, do to its size and the fact that one visit is rarely enough.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ray S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
80 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Will have to be the odd (wo)man out on this one”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Trip advisor... Please give us a 1/2 point option ..... Rounded up to 3 because our overall experience wasn't THAT bad. Visited based on the stellar reviews both on and off line. Maybe my expectation was too high? Dunno... Anyway, I will have to say, they graciously sat us even though we didn't have reservations, with the caveat that we would eat fast and not dawdle over dinner. (The space is very small). We did our part.....ordered wine, appetizer and entree all at once, but found our service to be WAY slow. We spent a good part of our visit wondering where our waiter was. The food was okay, but too salty for my liking. Overall, for the higher than average prices, I was pretty disappointed with both the food and the service. I must be the odd man out though....the place appears to be very popular.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank kgauthier42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very Over Rated......Expensive...Grit in Salad....Very salty entree”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My husband and I were given a gift certificate to Roccos for Xmas by a family member and decided to use it to celebrate our anniversary. We had heard a lot of hype about the restaurant so were very looking forward to celebrating this special occasion there. We had reservations for a Tuesday evening......when we arrived the place was filled and so noisy we had difficulty hearing each other talk and our waitresses explanations of the specials for the evening. Our waitress gave us excellent service, but that is about the only thing positive we can say about the evening. I ordered a salad of mixed greens with hazelnuts and feta. The salad was loaded with grit, and obviously the greens weren't rinsed properly. Although the salad dressing was tastly, it was a raspberry color which turned the feta cheese a visually un appealing pink color. My husband and I enjoy almost all foods, have very diverse palates and are not picky eaters. I ordered a slow cooked pork entree which was so salty I couldn't eat it. That being said I do not use salt in my cooking, but my husband who loves things salted switched entrees with me and said it was even salty for him. I ate the grilled pork chop entree which he ordered which was dry but was served in a very tasty reduction sauce. No bread was served with the meal although there were thin little bread sticks in wrappers in a glass at the table. When we asked for bread, we were served a grilled bread that was burned, and were charged additionally for that. All in all, the meal was quite expensive and we felt the place is way over rated. The owner/manager was at the bar, but never came around to any of the tables to ask if everyone was enjoying their meals. If he had done so, we would have shared our thoughts with him instead of writing them here. This is the first time I have written a rating for a restaurant, but our experience was so negative, we will not be returning.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Stephanie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Never miss a chance to eat here”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I travel frequently to Rochester for work and never miss a chance to eat here at least once every visit. The main dishes are excellent as well as nightly specials, often too hard to choose based how great everything is, including the pizzas. The wines rotate but are always great, just tell the staff what you like and they will find one to fit your taste. If the restaurant is full, enjoy the bar for.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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