At the beginning of 2013, Alli and I had grand plans to revisit a bunch of restaurants and update some of our posts that have become outdated. Over these four years we’ve become more educated eaters, our tastes have changed, we have a bigger audience and our pictures have (for the most part) improved dramatically. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to revisit too many restaurants; busy schedules and new restaurants often change our eating plans. To be honest, Rocco’s wasn’t even on that “we’d like to revisit’ list. Our original experience was nothing special and even though our pal Alan Bedenko has given the place his official seal of approval, we didn’t really have any urge to return. The only reason we went back was a co-worker of Alli’s had a really positive experience and told us we needed to update our post. So last weekend, Alli and I made the trip to Williamsville to see if their pizza had improved.
- Restaurant Type: Lounge, Upscale Pizzeria
- Cuisine: Pizza
- Location: Williamsville
We haven’t visited Rocco’s since 2011, so we completely forgot how nice the dining room looks and how busy the restaurant can be. Luckily, we were able to grab a table for two right away. I didn’t notice many differences in the menu since our last visit, but what caught our eye was their Burrata special for the evening. We’ve had some really great but also some really mediocre burrata experiences over the years, sometimes the mozzarella is dry and bland or sometimes the inside isn’t as creamy as it should be. Rocco’s housemade burrata was filled with mascarpone and served with sun dried tomatoes, a pesto sauce, peppers and olives. It was actually really wonderful and some of the best we’ve had outside of Italy. The mascarpone was a great filler, with a velvety texture that was great with the sour olives and pesto. We were really impressed and if I had a way to know when this will be on their specials menu again, I’d make a trip back to Williamsville in a heart beat.
We also ordered their garlic toast; a simple sub roll that was toasted and loaded with cheese and some garlic powder and served with a side of sauce. It was a nice appetizer and was cut into slices for easy sharing, but not exactly that different then what you’d find at most Italian restaurants or pizzerias.
We decided to keep it simple with our pizza order and tried out their Traditional Pizza ($16, large) that is topped with Grande Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomatoes, Romano, EVOO, & Fresh Basil. The crust has definitely come a long way since we tried their pizza two years ago. While it didn’t have the ideal char that we’ve seen from other wood fire ovens, the taste and texture of the crust has improved substantially. The pizza was a little cheese heavy (which Alli enjoyed) but their sweet sauce and crust was very satisfying. Alli and I almost polished off the entire large on our own and were very happy to do so. I’d really like to back and try more of their pizza options.
We are really happy to see the pizza has improved at Rocco’s and are very impressed with the specials they offer. If we lived closer, we’d probably revisit on a regular basis but for now it will be a destination dinner or a go to lunch spot when I am at work. It’s not perfect wood-fire pizza, but it’s a much better option than many of the standard dime a dozen Buffalo pizza joints.