When you think of pub food, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Chicken wings fried in heavy oil? Nachos buried under a blanket of cheese and chili that looked like it was pumped from a dispenser? If you’re like us, pub food doesn’t really tingle the senses, nor the stomach for that matter! Luckily, at Rocco’s Pub & Grub in Smithfield, they take pub food very seriously. Just minutes from Twin River, Rocco’s is truly a diamond in the rough. Chef and Owner Rocco Quattrocchi puts quality ingredients at the forefront and utilizes a farm fresh initiative as well. By sourcing their produce from Steere Farm in Greeneville and using Grass-Fed beef from various cattle farms, you can literally TASTE the difference.
What’s even more impressive is that fact that most of their dishes are priced around $10. They even have nightly specials that offer 50 cent riblets (which we will get into later), 25 cent wings, and even drink specials like $4 martinis on Wednesdays. So needless to say, Rocco’s has quickly become one of our new favorite grub spots in Rhode Island!
Our night started with a delightful duo of riblets, each doused in signature sauces (Honey Mustard & Lime-Peanut). Braised for a minimum of 6 hours, the meats on these babies were beyond tender and fell right off the bone. Give these riblets a try, and you’ll quickly see what the fuss is about.
Next up, “Rocco’s signature calamari” which was tossed with chorizo, italian olives, lemon juice, pepper rings, garlic, and served with a side of chorizo aioli. The mixture of lightly fried squid AND rings was a plus. When ordering calamari, we want it all! Collectively, the dish was rich and flavor with a slight kick from the spicy pork sausage. The side of chorizo aioli was a delicious and creative way to elevate this classic appetizer.
Rocco’s also offers a build your own pasta option. In this case, we ordered the Veal Bolognese. We weren’t quite sure what to expect since we were surrounded by flat screen TVs and Sam Adams Imperial, but we should have known better by now because…it was amazing! We can honestly say that this same dish could be served on Federal Hill, the North End of Boston, or any great Italian restaurant around. This crafty rendition was full of flavor and executed perfectly. The use of truffle oil and shaved Parmigiano on top definitely scored some extra points in our book.
Another hit maker on their menu is the Prosciutto and Arugula flatbread pizza. Our cover photo up top does it no justice. The bite of the arugula provided a nice balance to the crispy, smoky, wood grilled pizza. And let’s be honest, you can never have enough truffle oil right?!?
Can’t go wrong here folks. Juicy sliders topped with melted American, pickles and fried onions. We’re pretty confident Rocco’s will please any carnivore with these mini burgers. Just be sure to order more than two!
These fries, hand cut, maintained a super crunchy exterior (there’s nothing worse than floppy fries!). We especially enjoyed the heavy use of garlic and the chipotle ketchup for dipping on the side.
Take a quick second and look back to the variety of dishes we talked about it. We’re pretty much globe-trotting with the immense combinations of flavors and ingredients that goes into every menu item at Rocco’s…which is clearly not your typical pub.