Desserts and Decisions at Pasticceria Rocco


Have you ever tried to walk off dinner? I suggest you do that before eating dessert in NYC… especially Rocco’s desserts. My friend Lucinda and I had just finished dinner at The Republic and were heading to the West Village to explore dessert options. We passed a bakery, a macaroon café and several eateries selling gelato before deciding that we were still too full from our meal to eat dessert. So, we kept walking… and walking.

Discussing the dozens of options we had passed, we settled on a bakery displaying cookies the size of your face in the window. Now, if that isn’t a good reason at least to peek inside, I don’t know what is. After we opened the door, our noses were overloaded with the sweet aroma of warm sugary goodness.

We then realized what a daunting decision we yet faced: what to eat! You can choose to grab your treat to go, or you can dine at one of the many tables lining the right side of the café and filling the enclosed patio.

The patio struck our fancy since it gave an Italian feel to our late night dessert (granted, I have never been to Italy, so that comment is all based on speculation).

We reviewed their eight-page menu of pastries, cheesecake, gelato, coffee, tea, cookies and frozen drinks (to name a few). After ordering Rocco’s world-famous cannolis, we realized we had several more choices to make.

Rocco’s has two size options for cannolis: small and large. Both sizes come in either chocolate or plain, and the large comes in black and white… chocolate, that is.

At this point you might be asking, “What is a cannoli?” A cannoli is an open tube of fried pastry dough either left plain or, as Rocco’s offers, dipped in chocolates. Cannolis are then filled with a creamy, sweet ricotta filling.

Usually, bakeries display their cannolis piped with filling, but Rocco’s defies the conventional methods and instead only displays a tray piled high with the chocolate covered shells. It is only after you order a cannoli that Rocco’s employees pipe the smooth filling inside.

This method allows for a tantalizing combination of textures in one dessert: both crunchy and smooth. You are provided with a crisp cannoli that isn’t soggy, a chocolate coating that is sweet, a whipped filling that is fresh and a smattering of chocolate chips over the top.

Now, I would advise you either to split a cannoli with a friend or to do more walking than Lucinda and me. Rocco’s cannolis are rich!  I ordered the chocolate cannoli and could barely keep my fork out of my mouth.

Rocco’s does an excellent job balancing both the texture and sweetness of its cannoli. While the chocolate coating on the cannoli is sweet, the cannoli cream is only mildly sweetened. In the same way, the chocolate-coated shell is crisp while the cannoli cream is smooth.

Served with a cup of coffee, Rocco’s cannoli’s are an excellent choice for a dessert in the West Village.