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Rococo: Noontime Noshing, East Coast Style By Laura Beam

Lunch is the new dinner -- or should be. That favorite meal of the day when you order whatever you want, eat your whole meal sitting down, and enjoy time with friends and colleagues. Longtime restaurant icon Rococo knows these mid-day moments are meant to be relished. Chef and Owner Bruce Rinehart and Chef Jason Bustamante have just unveiled a new lunch menu reflecting their customers’ preferences. Loaded with Rococo’s renowned variety of fresh seafood, the lineup includes favorites like the authentic Lobster Roll, Clam Chowder--appropriately pronounced 'Chowda,' the Fish-n-Chips platter, and Chef Bustamante's Wild Salmon and famous Crab Cake. Even their wildly popular Love Salad, made from Chef Rinehart’s true 'back-east' recipe from Connecticut, is now available in single or four-person servings. Named for a Valentine's special that quickly became a regular menu item, “it's a simple recipe, made entirely in house, but the combination of dressing ingredients with the meats, cheeses and vegetables is the perfect flavor profile," Chef Rinehart remarks. After years of requests, 12oz bottles of the exclusive red wine vinaigrette dressing are now for sale, too.

Rococo’s Famous Crab Cake

The lunch menu is focused on portion size and speed. We know lunch needs to be quick and not make you wish for a nap after eating too much, Chef Bustamante admits. The Rhode Island Fish Stew, brimming with shrimp, scallops, cod, sausage, clams and mussels in a hearty saffron tomato broth, is not only indulgent but wellpriced and timely served. "We have many guests who bring business associates to Rococo but sometimes need a faster option," says Chef Rinehart. "The Express Lunch, including French Onion Soup, salad and a Provolone Crostini is designed for just that and served in 15 minutes.” While seafood dishes and sustainable sourcing are imperative to the chefs, the showstopping meatballs, steak, pasta, fancy grilled cheese, burgers, and Reuben sandwich are also main attractions. Gluten-free, plant-based dinners, and vegan and vegetarian options are also available. And for a supreme sampling of Rococo's culinary diversity, dine on Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm for a buffet brunch with extraordinary dishes and breakfast favorites. Visit Rococo, Northpark at 12252 N. May Ave. or 2824 N. Penn, or find more at

Photo by: Undrell Maholmes APRIL 2017





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