I had been to Rocca a long time ago-- I think pre-Dish This! Boston days-- with Skylar. I don't remember much from it, just that my expectations had been high, and it hadn't blown me away. I remember artichokes that were stringy and un-chewable, but I also remember a yummy handmade trofie pasta with pesto.
So I decided to give Rocca another try, especially because their fall menu is magnificent, filled with pumpkin and butternut squash and hearty pastas. And because the artichokes were off the menu, but the trofie remained.
This time, I started with the seared tuna crudo with mint, grapefruit, and jalapeno ($14). It sounds refreshing and unique right? Bursting with flavor? Wrong. It was flavorless and had no interesting texture-- just mushy. I was hoping to taste something like the kampachi crudo from Aura. But it was more like Shaw's sushi.However, to my right was Liz's amazing fried pumpkin ravioli with pesto ($8). While my dish sounded like it should be delicious and wasn't, Liz's sounded strange but was great-- an unusual combo that worked. For my entree I chose one of the appetizer-sized, handmade pastas (why only appetizer portions for the handmade ones?), the rag pasta carbonara with pancetta and parmigiano ($12). This definitely tasted handmade, and was luscious comfort food at its best.Liz scored big agin with the lasagne ligure with butternut squash, wild mushrooms, mozzarella, crescenza cheese & arugula pesto ($23). A magnificent fall dish.Dish Mom went for the braised short rib with creamy polenta and corn and green beans ($24). This was very good, but I think Liz might have won both the appetizer round and the entree one!
Finally, we all finished with something I also remembered from my first trip to Rocca: the almond bark with dark chocolate dipping sauce. Definitely something worth returning for.