Chef Cole Caprioni, Rocco’s at The Brick, Newtown, PA
Article by The Chefs’ Warehouse
Open since 1763, there is simply no denying the history that is built within the walls at the Brick in Newtown, PA.
And at Rocco’s at the Brick, if there is one thing they want their guests to remember, it’s this: Whether dining in, carrying out or being entrusted to host a special event, family always comes first. From first dates to celebrating a job promotion, or wedding anniversary Rocco’s mission is to “share it with us once, share it for a lifetime.” The Keystone State eatery’s goal is to create memorable moments that guests will carry for a lifetime.
“Our menus have been created, from their roots, with thoughtfully sourced ingredients and drink pairings that feed not only the belly – but the soul,” explained Executive Chef Cole Caprioni. “Our dining options reflect our commitment to honoring those meaningful moments – both big and small – in your life. When you throw an event at Rocco’s, you can rest assured that we’ll take care of you. We’ve developed several special event packages for parties of all sizes and styles. Whether you are planning a small executive luncheon for 15 or a special family celebration for 100, we promise you a dining experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.”
The Bucks County, PA eatery is named after Chef Caprioni’s 6-year-old son Rocco. “I grew up around restaurants. The school bus used to drop me off last at the restaurant where my mom was working. I kinda grew up on a barstool. I used to bug the bartenders for quarters to play Mr. Do and Arkanoid. With a father who has been with the same family-owned candy maker for over 30 years and a mother who has held nearly every restaurant position from waitress and host to manager and bartender, Chef Cole was destined for a culinary career. The guys in the kitchen used to let me drop my own mozzarella sticks in the fryer and help make side salads. I was hooked. I loved everything about being in the kitchen. So, I knew I wanted to be a chef from a very young age.”
Knowing from such a young age that he wanted to cook, Chef Cole opted for his high school’s 4-year vocational program, designed to prepare him with the fundamentals for culinary life, complete with a publicly open restaurant and long days of prep work. Hired right out of the program, Chef Cole went to work in some very unique and demanding kitchens, including nearly 10 years with Nordstrom’s restaurant division where he had the opportunity to open up and remodel locations.
Applying that knowledge of what it takes to get a restaurant off the ground from nothing has been put to good use as Chef Cole and his partners opened Rocco’s at the Brick. When he received a phone call out of the blue asking if he wanted to open a restaurant from his partner Alex Mastoris, who had recently sold his renowned diner and at the time was retired, he was a little reluctant.
Eventually, Chef Cole cooked for Mastoris, impressing him and his partners with the food and his menu concepts. Despite opportunities for advancement at Nordstrom, Chef Cole was sold on the idea when Mastoris told him they planned to name the restaurant Rocco’s at the Brick. Rocco is the name of Chef Cole’s son and if he wasn’t sold before, the name sealed the deal.
One of the keys to Chef Cole’s success has come from the partnership built with the Chefs’ Warehouse. “The Chefs’ Warehouse is a must. When you need the best possible product, no matter how difficult to source, CW has you covered. My Rep, Chris Mann, having been a chef himself, knows the struggle. Be it an 11th-hour phone call on getting truffles to me, or a Saturday morning “Ummm.. I forgot to order goat cheese”… he always pulls through. CW always pulls through. The dish I chose is Long Island Duck Confit with Mushroom-Leek Bread Pudding, Creamed Sweet Peas with Bacon, and Cherry Agrodolce. The Hudson Valley Foie Gras brand of duck legs is an incredible product. The sizing is always dead-on consistent. Also, the Baker’s Slab Bacon is the absolute best. Not aggressively smoky, not pumped full of anything, just killer bacon. The cherry agrodolce is a reduction of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and the juice from a can of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Doing a 12-hour cure of the duck legs with five-spice powder ties all of these flavors together, and… it just works. The flavors all get along.”
Rocco’s at the Brick is located in historic Newtown Pennsylvania’s Brick Hotel, a charming inn, originally built in 1763. Launching a restaurant in such a well-known (and allegedly haunted) spot, filled with memories for so many people is no small task. Rocco’s at the Brick pays homage to its historic past (including famous guests like George Washington and Ben Franklin) by offering a great list of bourbon whiskey, classic cocktails and high-end menu items from premium meats to world-class seafood. Learn more at their website.