RocketFire Pizza Co.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
These are boom years for the pizza business around New Orleans, bringing us much better pie than we have had at any point in our history. Things are a little different on the North Shore, however. With only a few exceptions, the many new pizza places there are mediocre and thoroughly mainstream. RocketFire, on the other hand, joins Carmelo and Pizza Man in the North Shore gourmet pizza category.
What sets RocketFire apart is the ultimate New York pizza apparatus: a coal-burning oven. Coal was the fuel of choice in the early days of pizza in this country, and although wood-burning ovens are now more popular (and more Italian), the bituminous fuel works well, too. After a few months of figuring things out (they still have a little way to go), the RocketFire people are now baking crusty, well-crafted pizza.
RocketFire was opened in July, 2012 by Michael Swick and Lewis Kahn, who as far as I know are new to the restaurant business, but seem to understand customer service. The location, hanging over the bank of the Abita River, is scenic and prominent. However, three restaurants (different owners) failed here. (Reason: the concepts were all somewhat to very weird).
The restaurant seems too big, with clean lines, enormous windows giving a view of the wild, natural river (keep a watch out there for river critters), and an overall spaciousness. The interior design makes reference to space travel, as envisioned by artists and writers of the 1950s and before. Great place for kids.
»»Oysters RocketFire (baked, with spinach and artichoke sauce)
Spinach & artichoke dip
Grilled shrimp crostini
»Garlic bread with cheese
»Fresh tomato bruschetta
Cheese and garlic fries
Seafood stuffed mushrooms
Venetian shrimp (coconut crusted, pepper jelly glaze)
Salads And Soups
»House (romaine, tomato, red onion)
Italian (romaine, tomato, artichoke, salami, pepperoni, mozzarella and olive salad).
Chef (romaine, ham, turkey, tomato, red onion, egg, bacon)
»Mediterranean (spinach, artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, feta)
»Iceberg lettuce wedge, blue cheese
»Shrimp and corn bisque
Loaded potato soup
Shrimp Creole soup
»»Pizza to order
Spaghetti & meatballs
Chicken, shrimp, or eggplant parmesan, spaghetti
Shrimp diavolo, spaghetti, spicy marinara
Grilled chicken breast
Turkey, Swiss, cranberry
Italian (turkey, ham, salami, pepperoni, swiss)
Bacon, turkey, smoked gouda
»Capresi (fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, olive oil)
Honey mustard ham & swiss
Chicken, shrimp or eggplant parmesan
»Philly cheesesteak, onions, peppers, provolone
Hot roast beef, horseradish mayo
Grilled shrimp hero
Italian sausage, onions, peppers
Chocolate layer cake
Vanilla bean ice cream
FOR BEST RESULTS
An unexpected specialty is baked oysters on the half shell with a sauce derived by adding parmesan cheese and bread crumbs to spinach-artichoke dip. This is much better than it might seem. The salads here are good enough to make a meal.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The pasta section of the menu is not especially good, and should be reworked by a chef from Italy. The pizza chefs should sweep out the floor of their oven more often.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +2
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +2
- Wine & Bar +1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +2
- Good view
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations