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Sep 04

Rocco’s Bakery in New York City

CannoliCannoli

Rocco’s bakery at 243 Bleecker Street in the West Village Neighborhood is one of New York City’s most popular bakeries, and with good reason. Established in 1972, Rocco’s serves up a wide variety of home-made baked goods, pastries, gelato, and fresh coffees.
Of course when our family went on a recent trip to the New York area for my brother Elliot’s 60th birthday bash we couldn’t miss out on some great “foodie” opportunities in the city. My big sis Ellen scheduled a pizza tour with Scott’s Pizza Tours and of course we researched some dessert places to visit while we were there. The pizza tour was very enlightening with visits to America’s first licensed pizzeria(Lombardi’s), a visit to one of the citys oldest cheese shops(Alleva) to leard how to make mozzarella, and tastes at two other pizza restaurants(I especially liked John’s in Greenwich Village). Our tour guide was quite the foodie and after about 5 minutes I knew she was no one trick pony. So, when the topic of desserts came up she shared her favorite place with us and that was Rocco’s Bakery. She said all the others on our list were touristy places with the standard sugary stuff. Well, she didn’t need to twist The Dessert Doctors arm, so when the pizza tour was over, my dessert tour started(remember I’m on vacation here)!
When you first glance at the very large delicious looking cookies in Rocco’s window, you know you are in for a treat. The place is quite busy with what looks like a nice assortment of regulars and tourists like me. Our Pizza tour guide recommended the Sfogliatelle as she wanted me to try a traditional pastry native to Italy. Sfogliatelle actually means “many leaves,layers” as the shell shaped pastry texture resembles leaves stacked on one another. Rocco’s version is filled with ricotta cheese, and semolina, and flavored with orange and citron. The outside had a nice crunchy texture with a buttery flavor. The filling was a bit bland for me as I was hoping for more ricotta and sweetness but this is not a stuffed sweet pastry like the commercial bakeries the pizza tour guide had mentioned. No, this is a traditional Italian pastry that she wanted me to try so I could get a feel for what Rocco’s was all about. Knowing that made me appreciate even more what I was sampling. This gets 3 stars for “Is it Good”.
Next up the Cannoli, and boy, the food bloggers weren’t fooling! This is a great home-made cannoli. The crispy shell is filled right in front of you with cream filling and your choice of pistashio nuts or chocolate chips. I opted for the chocolate. I like the fact that they wait to fill the shell so it stays fresh and crunchy. This was so delicious and was quickly devoured by myself, my sis, and my “always eager to help out” brother-in-law Steve. This recieves 4.5 stars for “Is it Good”.
Finally, the cookies!! The almond was by far the best. A big cookie(as they all were), with whole almonds inside to provide a nice texture contrast to the delicious almond flavored cookie dough. Just the right amount of almond flavor and sweetness here with a nice dollup of chocolate in the center for extra punch! 4.5 stars here for “Is it Good”. The peanut butter cookie was interesting, filled with chocolate chips and peanut butter M&M’s. It was good but could have had a bit more peanut butter flavor in the dough. 3 stars here for “Is it Good”.
Last was the chocolate chip cookie. Not your average chocolate chipper here. The dough had more of a sugar cookie flavor to it and was a bit “blah” tasting with no flavor to properly define it. It crumbled apart much too easily which made it both hard to eat and share. The chocolate chips inside and “half moon” chocolate dipped coating provided some nice flavor but couldn’t bring this cookie above 2.5 stars for “Is it Good”.
Our server stated that Rocco’s, to the best of her knowledge, uses white flour, white sugar, and no organic ingredients. Therefore, I will give Rocco’s 1 Heart for “Is it Good For You”.
Rocco’s is not a health food store and it isn’t trying to be one. It is though a great bakery serving up yummy treats that can be enjoyed once in a while as a reward to yourself for being good “most of the time”. For my overall rating for “Is it Good” Rocco’s receives 4 stars. Enjoy! TheDessertDoctor.com

Almond Cookie

Sfogliatelle

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1 comment

  1. ellen scherer

    where is your sis?

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