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Roz and Rocco’s weaves together the traditions of two families in order to create an elevated diner-style restaurant. The cuisine at Roz and Rocco’s adds a whimsical touch to classic Italian favorites while the design incorporates heirlooms from a famed American heritage. The menu is composed of staple recipes that were once developed by the owner's two immigrant grandmothers. The service at Roz and Rocco’s is also warm and authentic. It mirrors the hospitality delivered by an iconic Italian grandmother. Set in a thoughtfully devised space, the restaurant is reminiscent of a classic, all-day diner. The textiles and colors weave in pieces from Roz’s family’s business: the Woolrich Clothing Company, which has thrived for almost two centuries. Buffalo plaid, cotton, hemp, wood, exposed brick, and other natural elements all find their proper place in this environment.
The Italian Grandmother
The female figures in their lives defined the meaning of hospitality. Rocco’s mother and mother-in-law – Edith and Hilda - were particularly influential. Both personified the iconic “Italian Grandmother” (IG). Everything an Italian Grandmother offers is ample, approachable, addictive, and affordable.
Roz and Rocco’s guiding principles were created in an effort to “bottle up” the experience of being with an Italian Grandmother (IG) and offering this hospitality to each guest at the restaurant.
An IG is never skimpy with her offerings; plates are piled high on each table. An IG always has a variety of home cooked treats to share. The options are plenty and are only limited by the guests’ desires. The menu will offer large and/or sharable portion sizes. It's important to note that “ample” does not necessarily mean glutenous. Christine’s (Rocco’s daughter and owner) mother Mary Louise – now an IG herself – eats a 2022 diet: lean proteins, vegetables, no sugar, and the good fats. However, when hosting an event, her offerings are still ample – making sure there are tons of choices and plenty to go around.
An IG wants to give her guests what they want - not push them to eat what she wants to cook. In fact, if an IG knew one of her guests’ favorite foods, she would prepare that intentionally. R&R offers items that, by and large, most people like. Its intention is not to “educate” its diners or provide overly fussy foods that require a dictionary to order or understand.
Although an IG makes approachable food, her food is memorable and crave-able because of how she cooks. Everyone remembers Grandma Hilda’s scrambled eggs, a simple breakfast staple prepared with a carefully chosen olive oil (rather than butter). The same can be said about Grandma Edith’s homemade white bread or tomato sauce. Offerings at R&R will have a signature twist that make them specific to the restaurant and addictive.
The kitchen of an IG is always “open” and family and friends stop in unannounced at any hour. She graciously welcomes the same guests multiple times per day or week. The same applies to R&R: it’s affordable and priced low enough that you can come back often, like an offsite kitchen.