Rocco Trotta was first introduced to the restaurant world when he teetered through the doors of his father’s modest Brooklyn luncheonette.Years later, he’s decided to take what he learned and open up a swanky steakhouse on Madison Avenue.
There was an interim, however, in which he was on a very different — though also successful — path. His engineering firm, the LiRo Group, has contributed to the building of the Freedom Tower and High Line Park, among other large-scale New York City projects.
But he was craving a more savory venture, so he pulled on his family’s restaurant roots and teamed up with general manager Pete Pjetrovic and beverage director Jeff Kolenovic— both tenured Wolfgang's veterans — to bring an American steakhouse to NoMad.
I know what you’re thinking: do we really need another steakhouse?
Yes, apparently we do, because these are some of the best cuts I’ve had in a very long time.
You also won’t see signature fries like this anywhere else — like the world’s longest chip, it’s actually one big lightly fried slice in the shape of the spud.
Executive chef Johnny Jevric spent the past ten years as executive chef at Wolfgang's, and at Rocco, he uses only USDA prime beef dry-aged onsite in the restaurant’s aging box. Fresh seafood, poultry, vegetables and other produce are sourced directly from nearby farmers, butchers, and other local businesses.
The space is bathed in light that cascades down from picture-frame lighting fixtures on the ceiling, which highlight the mesh gold and silver accents found throughout the restaurant. In the back, there is a more intimate dining room with a wall of wines.
Every employee has worked for at least 10 years at a top New York steakhouse, including head waiter and sommelier Henry Doda, who worked with Pjetrovic at Wolfgang’s for 10 years under the same titles.
At this point in my steak-eating career, I’ll be sending anyone looking for meat and potatoes below 42nd Street right here.