Rockin’ on at Roc

Lunch at Roc, the new Italian bistro on Bardstown in the Highlands, was a total flashback to my 2017 Christmas on the Amalfi Coast.

We had the glass porch to ourselves. It was already shaping up to be a magical experience when I saw that they had Anglianico on the menu.

Our waiter, from Milano, was the real deal.

I once heard a wine connoisseur describe Anglianico as an iris growing in the shade. It’s a delightful wine. There was a winter 2017 bumper crop when the crime partner and I were in Amalfi, and our hotel was basically giving it away for ten dollars a bottle.

I went shamelessly ovo lacto for my Roc lunch. We started with a burrata, a mound of super creamy mozzarella with paper thin cooked eggplant and zucchini slices.

The burrata got dressed up with cracked pepper and olive oil at the table.

I moved on to the goat cheese panini which was dressed with greens and mushrooms. Really delicious. I shy away from paninis because too many of them are excessively bready. The Roc panini has a good proportion of protein and greens to starch.

My sandwich came with truffle fries. Just when you think French fries cannot get any more addictive, someone comes along and cooks them in truffle oil.

I was putting these away in a hypnotic stupor when the crime partner broke into my reverie with the gentle words, “You know, no one’s trying to take them away from you.”

Goat cheese panini and truffle fries

Right. I slowed down some.

The crime partner’s rigatoni tasted homemade. It was perfectly al dente. Pasta and red sauce is the vegan fallback in Italian restaurants. So it’s great that the pasta at Roc is excellent quality.

On my next visit, I will try Roc’s spaghetti pomodoro, which is traditionally a vegan dish of noodles and tomato sauce. Strict vegans will need to call in advance, though, to get an ingredients list.

I wanted to skip dessert, but the crime partner noted that Roc has affogato on the menu. I guess we have an informal policy of never passing on this confection of espresso and vanilla ice cream.

Roc’s affogato came with chilled coffee in a dessert bowl. I’m more accustomed to this dish served in a cup, but the ice cream sundae presentation was awesome.

“Alta Marea”, the Italian version of “Don’t dream its over” was streaming as we cherished our last bites.


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