An epicenter of Northern Westchester’s foodie scene, Peekskill has a new culinary addition — a family-style Italian joint serving updated and expertly crafted fare in the heart of downtown.
Rocco’s Downtown (formerly The Hudson Room) showcases Italian favorites with an emphasis on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients under the watchful eye of Chef de Cuisine Philipp Hering and Executive Chef Mike Anastacio (of sister restaurant Fin & Brew).
“We’re going to stay true to what we know, and that’s the Hudson Valley,” says Anastacio. “I think one of the biggest things we did was passionately pull Italy into everything.”
Hering’s debut menu fits that to a T — nowhere more so than with the seasonal succotash that accompanies rigatoni, which, typically unassuming, is a creamy, cheesy, sleeper hit. “I learned a lot from [Mike] at Fin and Brew, especially the unexpected tweaks,” says Hering. But the Filipino chef acknowledges he might also have a leg up in that department: “I spent 90 percent of my career making Italian food,” he says, most recently at Nonna Corola in Mamaroneck and Manhattan’s Barbuto.
Other can’t-miss dishes include squid-ink seafood risotto with pistachio gremolata, fried calamari with zucchini chips, and meatballs marinara with shishito pesto. And absolutely do not skip out on dessert; try the creme brûlée cheesecake or cannoli tiramisu.
Rocco’s has an ideal location, just steps from the Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre and easy parking. “We thought that a classic, family-style, Italian restaurant would be a great place for locals and theatergoers to come eat,” says owner Louie Lanza.
23 S Division St, Peekskill