I’ve always considered Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar to be one of the area’s finest Italian restaurants, and I’m pleased to say Rocco Potami’s excellent food travels nicely.
I recently ordered some food to go from the full menu posted on Rocco’s website.
For an appetizer, I selected the funghi ripieni alla jojo, or roasted stuffed mushroom caps. A delicacy of the Calabria region, the dish features italian sausage, chopped red bell peppers and a bit of mascarpone cheese in bite-sized funghi caps finished off with a bit of broiler sear. They were delicious.
So was my papardelle alle Cinque Terre, a favorite of mine that has the broad noodles tossed in a cream sauce flavored with white wine and tinged with tomato and basil with shrimp, scallops and bits of lobster meat folded in. A little of the sauce had leaked out into the takeout bag during transit – I should have been more careful putting the bags into the trunk – but there was still plenty to enjoy. (By the way, Potami shared this recipe for an episode of Compliments of the Chef, which you can see here.)
My companion had the scaloppine di vitello alla Rocco, tender veal sautéed with white wine and a demi-glace then topped with roasted red peppers, prosciutto and melted fontina cheese. It was accompanied by a stack of julienned zucchini and squash, sautéed just enough to retain a toothsome snap.
And it was nice to have some of the crusty Italian bread that Rocco’s serves at the restaurant to be included, along with a small container of olive oil for dipping.
The ordering process was simple: call the restaurant, place the order, give the credit card info. I specified that I wanted to prepay and include the tip. And when I arrived at the restaurant, slightly ahead of the 25 minutes I was told it would take, I called the restaurant again from the parking lot and the food was brought – carried by a properly masked server – within one minute.
The only way it could have been better would be to dine inside where we could experience Potami’s famous hospitality. I’ll look forward to that day.
Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar is at 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park. It serves dinner Monday through Saturday. It is also open for on-premises dining. The phone number is 407-644-7770.