On Monroe Avenue, there lies a small, quaint, and classic Italian restaurant: Osteria Rocco. I walked in on a Tuesday night, and, to my dismay, found out that I needed a reservation. On a Tuesday night!

So before my next visit, I made the reservation two weeks in advance, and here’s what I have to say: the service is great, the restaurant’s décor and atmosphere are appropriate, and the food is incredibly tasty, but unfortunately not that modestly priced.

When my friend and I sat down, a waiter immediately greeted us with a pretty convincing Italian accent, providing us the specials of the day, which sounded yummy. Of course, when I asked him where he was from, he told me Buffalo, NY. Regardless, we ordered the ricotta fatta in casa (ricotta on charred bread with olive oil), the lasagne alla pizzaiola (lasagna with three cheeses), and the brasato al valpolicella (braised beef with cabbage and roasted potatoes).

The ricotta fatta in casa was delicious – not only were the ricotta and bread homemade, but the luscious contrast in texture between the two added to the boldness of the dish.

The lasagne alla pizzaiola was probably one of the best lasagna dishes I have ever had. Not only was everything in the dish homemade, but the three cheeses each added a new level of complexity to the dish, and the tomato sauce was surprisingly sweet.

Lastly, the brasato al valpolicella was good but not the best. The beef was well- cooked, the cabbage was satisfactory, and the roasted potatoes were very good. However, I felt that the beef could have been better seasoned.

Overall, the meal was very good and would even have been reasonably priced if it were located elsewhere. The bill, not including tip, came to about $55 for two people. Coming from NYC, I consider this price, for the quality of the food, the service, and the décor, to be reasonable. However, Rochester is not NYC.

I was pretty surprised that everything about the restaurant was generally very good to excellent, but I was equally surprised that the bill came to $55.

Despite the relatively high prices, this place is great for a date because of the service and the atmosphere. The seats are positioned close to each other at roughly ninety-degree angles with a table in between, which creates a more romantic atmosphere. In addition, the dim candles and the faint Italian music make you feel that you are secluded from everyone else in the restaurant.

I would recommend this restaurant if you want to have a fancy date, or if you are craving delicious Italian food and have some cash to spare.

Mavrelis is a member of the class of 2017.

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