When the Rocco’s Wood Fired Pizza take-out stand opened in 2005, customers asked why the pizzas came out charred.
After more than 10 years of trying other wood-fired, brick-oven pizzerias, they began asking why Rocco’s didn’t have a dining room.
Now it does. Rocco’s gourmet pizzas are served in a new restaurant setting with wines, craft beers and table service, all next door to Rocco’s familiar location at 5716 Locke Ave.
“Our pizza’s good, but fresh out of the oven it’s really good,” said Collin May, who joined with Jeremy Hutton last year to buy Rocco’s from founding chef Barclay Ryall.
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May and Hutton, former Charleston’s guys, also run the Break Room Bar & Grill in Crowley, a great old, smoky dive known for green chile cheeseburgers.
“We were always impressed at the quality here,” May said: “You could tell a chef started it.”
They’re not changing anything, just expanding to dining-room service.
The pizzas are Rocco’s same familiar favorites: a Margherita; a Riviera with ham, artichokes and goat cheese; a Mediterraneo with pesto, peppers, artichokes, olives and feta; and usual pizzas such as a supreme or a “meat lover’s.”
There are 15 specialty pizzas in all, or pick your own from a choice of 36 toppings including traditional choices plus grilled sirloin, bacon, capers or truffle oil .
Rocco’s also serves pasta dishes such as lasagna, chicken alfredo, ziti and manicotti, plus inexpensive, fresh caesar, spinach or Greek salads.
Bascially, Rocco’s is like a smaller, simpler Fireside Pies or Olivella’s. Pizzas cost $12-$20, although there’s a weekday lunch slice special for $6.99.
Rocco’s is open for lunch and dinner daily in the Locke Blocke shopping center near Szechuan and Mariposa’s; roccosfortworth.com