By M.K. McGarrity
Special to Brooklyn Eagle
BAY RIDGE — Rocco's Pizza has been a grand family business for more than 30 years on Fifth Avenue. Joe and Danny Loccisano, sons of the original Rocco, continue his traditions of great food and a warm atmosphere.
The restaurant offers much more than just regular pizza pies. While your pizza options are plentiful, ranging from the excellent La Nonna (the Grandma Pie), a thin-crust Sicilian with marinara and fresh mozzarella, to the margherita, the hamburger, the buffalo chicken, the chicken Caesar, and the pepperoni, what makes Rocco's really unique is its weekly menu of specials.
During Lent, Rocco's always makes an effort to provide fish options. Recently, some specials have included filet of sole alla francesa, chicken Marsala, zuppa di mussels, and a medley of vegetables over pasta.
The prices at Rocco's are especially impressive. You can get a slice and a soda for less than a round-trip subway fare. The Loccisanos offer garlic knots, delicate little balls of dough that melt in your mouth, at five for $1.25.
Beyond the great pizza and the impressive specials, Rocco's also offers a wide selection of healthy, diet-friendly options. Salads are richly presented and fully satisfying. If you want to indulge, try the zeppoli, fried dough that bursts with flavor, or the fried Oreo, a concoction that will have you returning on a regular basis.
"Consistency of the product over a long period of time" is what separates Rocco's Pizza from competitors, according to Joe Loccisano.
Everything is made on the premises. Joe was 12 and his brother Danny was 13 when they made their first pizzas alongside their father. That rich family legacy is apparent, not only in the food, but also in the welcoming and, indeed, festive ambiance.
"It's in the blood," Joe explained.
Rocco's is known for its sponsorship of the Fifth Avenue Festival's annual pizza eating contest. The festival takes place the Sunday following Memorial Day weekend. To enter, you should be 18 and qualify first by eating an 18-inch thin-crust pizza within eight minutes. In order to get a trial pie, call, or stop by to talk to Joe or Danny.
All credit cards are accepted and free delivery with a $12 minimum is offered to Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
Rocco's Pizza is located at 7818 Fifth Ave. For more information, call (718) 238-7658 or (718) 238-7655, or check out the web page at www.roccospizzaon5th.com. The business is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.