As a first-timer, I popped into Roc with my wife on a sunny, but damned cold Tuesday afternoon for lunch. I wasn’t overly aware of what this establishment was all about other than the fact that they serve “authentic” Italian cuisine and that they opened in Spring of 2017. The moment that I opened the heavy, wooden door at the entrance, a warm aroma of garlic and the sound of operatic music quickly alerted me to what I was getting myself into — these folks are going for a classic Italian atmosphere, and while at times this vibe is a bit too obvious and sometimes even cheesy, it works at Roc as a relaxing, homey spot with a comforting vibe.
Our server, and presumably the owner of Roc was very accommodating. He sat us in the front of the restaurant which is surrounded by large windows allowing a barrage of gorgeous natural light making for a fantastic setting. To get things started, I ordered a Peroni (don’t judge me, I was feeling the vibe, man) and the salad which consisted of arugula, flavorful onions, raddiccio and endives topped with a light vinaigrette and fresh pepper and parmesan. This refreshing combination was tastier than I predicted considering how simple it’s architecture was as every bite had a pleasant bitterness.
Take a look at my salad below:
For my main course, I chose the fettuccine bolognese with traditional meat sauce. It was served in an oversized white bowl and topped with feather shredded parmesan. After one glance and a whiff of this dish’s scent, I knew I made the right decision. The pasta was cooked al dente making for a hearty bite with each fork-full while the sauce was rich and flavorful, but not overly potent or filling.
Get a look at this dish below:
I took my time savoring each warm bite, delicately twirling each fork-full of bolognese into the perfect bite, an act that seems tedious at times, but always pays off in the end. I ordered another Peroni (for real, don’t judge me) and basked in the warm sunlight as my meal began to slowly settle in my belly.
After a bit of pleasant conversation, my wife and I paid our bill and left Roc with smiles on our face. The superb service from our host and delicious plates of food were perfectly fused with a cozy, albeit somewhat generic Italian atmosphere making for a memorable lunch experience. We will most definitely be back.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Phillip Olympia is absolutely, positively not a food critic. Having said that, he really, really loves food, and he really appreciates Louisville’s effervescent independent restaurant scene which is why we have decided to embark on a series of posts documenting one or two options from a particular menu from one of many local spots. We’re calling this series “Food For Fun” because, well, I don’t know. It’s a dumb name, but you’ll get over it.