Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rocky's Pub. Real Italian.

Rocky’s Pub in North Little Rock is authentic, like the sign says. The food, the family, and the restaurant vibe are the real deal. That’s what the Dunlap family wanted when they opened the restaurant 7 years ago after moving to North Little Rock from Philadelphia. Patrick, Kristine, and Joel Dunlap make this restaurant a place of comfort. Joel, the son, takes care of the dine-in customers. He has a warm smile and makes you feel like this is your fifteenth time in. Patrick, the dad, is behind the bar. He looks like the guy that makes sure everything is in order. Then there is Kristine, the mom, the heart of the family and restaurant. You don’t see her much because she is the cook...the creator of deliciousness.

Momma, that’s what she is called on Facebook, makes just about everything from scratch! The alfredo sauce, meatballs, marinara sauce, tomato sauce, you name it. You can taste the love stirred into every dish.  It is what sets this place apart from the rest.

To be quite honest, I was kind of nervous when choosing from the menu.  This was the first restaurant that I have been to that I had not previously eaten at. I had no idea what to expect. I had heard such great things and wanted to make the perfect selection. People suggested so many different dishes to try. I chose the Chicken Parmesan, a classic Italian dish. We also ordered some garlic bread. You can’t eat pasta without bread.....well, I can’t.

It was nicely toasted with butter, a gentle amount of garlic, and cheese. It is covered with flavor. This is garlic bread you can even eat on a first date and not worry about your breath.
Don’t worry girls. I got your back, unless I get detracted by bread. Then you’re on your own.

To continue with the authentic theme, this dish is legit. The chicken is hand pounded to created a uniform thickness, hand breaded, and then sautéed. This creates the most moist chicken that melts in your mouth. I am usually diving into the pasta, but this chicken took front stage for me. It’s crust is covered with homemade tomato sauce, a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Their tomato sauce has a nice rich flavor to it. You can taste the tang of the tomato, and it’s not heavily seasoned with spices. It's on the pasta too. The spaghetti noodles are cooked perfectly, and the tomato sauce lightly coats the pasta. I’m telling you, when something is seasoned right, you don’t have to douse it over everything. It will speak for itself. Now, if you want the ultimate bite, twirl your pasta on your fork, and then top it with a bite of chicken. It will make you chew in slow motion. You will want to savor every flavor.

In true Italian fashion, the portions are generous. Luckily there were leftovers, so I could enjoy the dish again. Usually, I leave them home for the hubby to snack on, but the only child came out in me. I did not want to share, and I took them to work with me! It was gobbled up during my 30-minute lunch because I had recess duty. I walked around the playground a little slower.

My sweet mom, who took us to Rocky’s Pub, got the seafood alfredo. It had shrimp, crab meat, and lobster. She was very impressed with it! Rustin got the ravioli, Italian sausage, and homemade meatballs. He really liked his dish as well, and we all decided that this was going to be our go-to Italian restaurant in town.

The decor in the pub is homey. I love the teal booths, tables with teal chairs, and the black and white checkered tile floors. Anyone would feel welcome. They named the place after Rocky Balboa, who is a Philadelphian. I think he would greatly approve of the atmosphere the Dunlap’s have created. 

We tried this place because Alicia and Justin, during our Toad Suck Buck's visit, talked so highly about their food. I had lived in North Little Rock and had not tried it before. It has been a well-kept secret, and it’s about time it becomes known to EVERYONE. Before you go, make sure you check their Facebook page. Remember, momma is the only cook. If momma is sick, just like when your sick, she is at home trying to get better. They might be closed for a family reason. This family restaurant is really just run by the family. That is authentic.

You need to try it. I need to try all the other dishes that were recommended! They are located in the Indian Hills Shopping Center in North Little Rock.

1 comment:

  1. Woah! I LOVE italian but can never find the real deal! Will be checking this out next time I'm down that way.