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  • Johnny Rocco’s

  • 3.0 stars
    (17 reviews, average rating: 3.4/5)
  • Cuisines: Italian
  • (905) 680-9300
  • 271 Merritt Street St. Catharines, ON L2R 7E3
  • Neighbourhoods: Merriton
Recommend Restaurant?
8 people have voted
75% of voters recommend
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Restaurant Details
Official Site
Price range
$$ ($11-$25)
Catering
Yes
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AAA
12 Reviews
2012/06/21
  • Thursday Tapas
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • I went to Johnny Rocco’s with my friend for Tapas last Thursday. I’ve been here before, but it was my first time trying out the Tapas. It was a really fun night. We really enjoyed the live music. It was busy that night, but we were greeted at the door with a smile and brought to a table right away. Our server was friendly and took our drink order. It took a little while to get our Sangria, but we didn’t care. We were too busy enjoying the live band playing and checking out all of the options we had to choose from on the Tapas menu. Since it was our first time our server suggested we start off with 2 or 3 Tapas each and then if we were still hungry we could order more Tapas later. She said a lot of people start off with a couple and then order more as they go. So when in Rome lol We ended up sharing everything. We got the Crispy Raviolis, a Sicilian Pizza, Boneless Chicken, and an Apple Salad to start. The tapas don’t come to the table all at once, but we didn’t have to wait long for them to start coming. The Raviolis were good. Kind of like a jalopeno popper. The Pizza was nice and golden brown, thin crust and spicy! It was great, I’ve had this pizza before off the regular menu and the mini version was just as good. The Boneless Chicken was good. And I’ve found my new favourite salad! The Apple Salad was delicious. It had apples, pecans, I think goat cheese, and roasted red peppers in it. When our server checked on us we were saying how good the salad was, and we had to order another one. She told us that they have it on the regular menu too. We also wanted to try a Tapas pasta, but we couldn’t decide. Our server suggested the Penne with Chicken in a Rose sauce. So we went with her suggestion and tried it. It could’ve used a little bit more sauce on it, but overall it was a good suggestion. Eventually our server was back to check on us. At that point we were stuffed, but we really wanted to try the Tapas Desserts. She told us they had new Tapas Desserts that weren’t listed on the menu and that they were delicious. We asked her what her favourite one was, but she said they were all THAT good that she could never pick just one. So we decided to try a few! Seeing how they are Tapas sized…we had the Carrot Cake, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Red Velvet Cheese Cake (who could resist that! Red Velvet!). They were all so good! And our server was right, too hard to pick just one favourite. lol We were sooo stuffed by the end of it we couldn’t move. So we stayed longer, relaxed, and enjoyed the band. They played a lot of great songs that we knew, and they had us singing along with them. Overall a good night. I will be back for Tapas again, for some already known favourites and to try some new ones too. There’s so many to choose from.

  • Order: Sangria&Tapas:Ravioli,Sicilian Pizza,Boneless Chicken,Apple Salad,Carrot Cake,Chocolate Fudge Brownie,Red Velvet Cheese Cake
 
AJS
1 Review
2012/02/12
  • Horrible Experience
  • Overall
    2.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      1.0 star
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 9 or more
  • The service was by far the worst I've ever experienced. We had a group of 14 and the kitchen sent out only nine of our plates, and then the other five got their food after the rest of us had finished our meals. UNACCEPTABLE!!! My poor father was one of the people who had to wait and they made the wrong dish so he had to wait even 15 minutes longer. The food was good but I can't return to a place that is managed that poorly!!!

  • Order: Gnocchi
 
Catlover
12 Reviews
2012/01/17
  • I have gone to this place ATLEAST 10 times since...
  • Overall
    5.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • I have gone to this place ATLEAST 10 times since it has opened. I had my birthday here (they gave me a private room in the back) with a group of 10, plus free ice cream for myself for dessert.

    I've gone here for both lunch and dinner. I do recommend lunch over dinner as their service is faster. Lunch time is very quiet and the service is quite fast. Dinner on a saturday the place is packed and busy, so the wait for food is longer.

    I enjoy their salads. Ive had their bruchetta and it was good. Their risotto is yummy. By far my favourite is their parmesan chips and their calzones. The calzones are very fresh, always crisp and never burned. The parmesan chips are always crisp and fresh.

    The waitresses I've had in the past have been fine and never had an issue with service.

    Overall affordable price and I love the rustic decor.
    The St Catharines Costco offers a spend $80 and you receive a $100 gift card. This is a great deal for anyone who eats there frequently. I will be going back again :)

  • Order: Cesar Salad, Risotto, Parmesan Chips, Margarita Calzone, Sicilian Calzone, Mediterranean Calzone, La Calebrase Calzone
 
MelS
1 Review
2011/12/02
  • First time at Tapas
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      2.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 6
  • Well, the food at Johnny Rocco's in the Falls isn't that good so my friends go to the St. Catharines one instead for tapas. It was my first time going with them last night and the tapas was delicious and fun. The atmosphere was great, but the service was awful.

    Last night, our server took forever to check on us. We found ourselves without service for 15 minutes when we sat down, wondering when we could order a drink, and then ended up without utensils for another 5 minutes when our first round came out. When the 6th person in our party came, she had the same wait. Our waiter would drop off the food and rush off without giving us a chance to ask for anything else. Sure, the restaurant is busy on Thursdays, but he also had a bad attitude.

    Not only did our server seem to have an issue being polite, but the rest of the servers also seemed to have sticks up their butts. At times, I felt as though I was back in my university days getting sized up and stared down by snotty girls at a bar.

    My friends have mentioned that this is what the service is always like there, and I wonder why they keep going back. At least in the Falls, I leave in a good mood.

  • Order: Rice balls, Parmesan Zucchini, Shrimp balls of some sort...
 
AAA
12 Reviews
2011/11/29
  • I'm a fan of Johnny Rocco's, but had only ever...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • I'm a fan of Johnny Rocco's, but had only ever been there in the evening for dinner. My boyfriend and I decided to go there for lunch recently. Every time I've gone to Johnny Rocco's it's always busy, but we still get great service and the food is delicious, and the same can be said for our recent lunch experiance. On our first ever visit for lunch we were promtly greeted at the door with a smile and were seated in a big comfy booth, even though we were only two people. The waitress was nice, friendly and seemed knowledgable about their wine list. I was looking to try something new and told her I usually go for a sweeter white wine. She suggested the Megalomaniac Narcissit Reisling ( I remember the name because I enjoyed the wine so much I had her write it down for me so I could go pick some up at the LCBO lol). I also had water to drink. To eat I ordered the Rigatoni Rustica. It was so good. Normally I go for one of their Pizza's because I love the thin crust and I always know they're going to be delicious, but this day I was in the mood for pasta. The rigatoni was in a white creamy sauce and it was loaded with lots of good stuff! It had chicken, roasted red peppers, prucuitto, and shrimp. It was really good and very filling! It came with the choice of soup or salad to start. I had the house salad. It was good.It had lots of stuff in it like lettuce (obviously lol) cucumbers, tomatos, cheese, crutons, olives, onions, chickpeas, and this little pepper. My boyfriend also had a glass of the Megalomanic Narcissit Reisling, a glass of water, and he had the Sausage and Pepper Arrabiatta. He said he really enjoyed it. It was good and spicey. And he really enjoys peppers and this dish had an assortment of them in it. So it was a good choice for him. He also had the house salad to start. As always, even though the restaurant was busy, our waitress, made sure to check on us and offer to get us more drinks. Although the wine was delicious, it was lunch time so we only had one glass each. I also liked that after she brought us our drinks, we clearly needed more time to decide what we wanted to eat and we told her we'd need more time (their menu is huge), she asked us if we had any questions, and we didn't so she said she'd check back with us in a bit. When she did come back to take our order she asked what I thought about the wine. I like little things like that. It shows they actually care and you feel like you're being taken care of. And to me when a server comes back to check on you and make sure you have everything you need and the food is good, that's important and can make all the difference. Overall our first lunch time experiance was a good one! And we will be back :)

  • Order: Rigatoni Rustica, House Salad, Sausage and Pepper Arrabiatta, House Salad, 2 glasses of Megalomanic Narcissit Reisling
 
zman
1 Review
2011/11/14
  • We went to celibrate a Birthday. It was a Sunday...
  • Overall
    1.0 star
    • Food
      1.0 star
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      1.0 star
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 8
  • We went to celibrate a Birthday. It was a Sunday night and we reserved a table. We were seated and 15 minutes later a waitress showed up and took our drink order. It was all soft drinks and took another 15 minutes to deliver.
    Again the watress dissapoeared for another 10 minutes. Two people ordered the soup and it was bland and lukewarm. On loaf of bread was brought and 1 salad bowl for the 6 remaining people.
    I asked about the Salad and the waitress just said we share here.
    The food finally came after one hour and 15 minutes.
    My Pasta with Sausage was a congeled mass on my plate and barely warm. The same for my wifes pasta. Everyone was very disappointed with the food. The service to say the least was non existant.
    There is no excuse for cold food. I had to ask for a refill on my empty glass that was sitting right in front of the waitress.
    If I could give a 0 for this place I would.
    I will not go back, and I really don't think it will last.
    I saw many tables where people were staring off into the air waiting for food and service.
    O yes and for n 18 dollar meal they charged me 50 cents for cheese on my Garlic bread and even that was cold. I almost laughed out loud when the waitress said to be carefull the plates were hot.
    They were stone cold like the experience we had.

  • Order: Pasta
 
Finerthings
4 Reviews
2011/11/05
  • Nice neighborhood place
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 4
  • Johnny's has everything going for it. The staff are terrific and interested in making the meal nice. They are pretty knowledgeable. We've eaten here 4 times since the summer. There is lots of variety on the menu. Try the nachos. The chips will float off the plate they are so light. Excellent. Nice place to take your older kids for a nice meal. Looks like it's a popular place with university and college kids and visiting parents

  • Order: Chicken parm, nachos, salads, pasta, espresso
 
terrific
9 Reviews
2011/09/06
  • DECENT
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      2.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      2.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Maybe
    • Party Size: 2
  • We had a decent meal here. We ordered the appetizer for two and had calamari, parmigiana chips and deep fried ravioli with dipping sauces.It was all very good!
    The seafood pasta was very good but they charged me extra to make the sauce as rose. Not sure why? What was the big deal? My husband enjoyed the Gnocchi very much.
    Service was sooo slow. I do not blame the server though as she was run off her feat. They could have used more waitresses. Issues as well with the debit machine.
    The atmosphere is likely what will prevent me from going again unless we have a big group. Its way to loud. Nothing intimate about this place.

  • Order: Seafood pasta, gnocchi, apps for two
 
GreekVera
111 Reviews
2011/06/21
  • Food Better than East Side Mario's in Milton
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 1
  • I read the winter of 2010 bad reviews, before I drove from Milton. June 20/2011 for 18:35hrs I have a very open mind, I know how hard it is to control staff etc. I had a young lady who knows her stuff(food here), she pointed out Pamesan Chips $6+(sliced potatoes fried with cheese,chives,garlic/salt/parsley-slice lemons and side of garlic oil.YummmY it sounds.I order: Linguini with clams $18/house salad and side of Pamesan Chips/1 Ice Tea and Pop. Food: large plate with 2x pasta volume what EastSide Marios serves,Clam Sauce was loaded with clams..Very Good, smell the cheese/garlic from the potatoe chips. Large mugs of my drinks(No Tiny Cups Here!). The chips Ahh went to heaven!!BEST!!, taste the ice tea OK-love lemon slices in my drink, House salad is made fresh(not store bag)-OK. Pasta is very good, taste garlic and I know the cook used clam juice I can taste light fish-salt from clam juice. It is worth the drive on HWY401 from Milton, Owner must of fired the bad workers from 2010, quality from what I taste tells me there must be a real cheif incharge of the kitchen..GreekCat is Comming Back..

  • Order: Linguini with Clams/Pamesan Chips/Ice Tea+Pop
 
AAA
12 Reviews
2011/05/19
  • A friend and I went to Johnny Rocco's for a bite...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • A friend and I went to Johnny Rocco's for a bite to eat. She had never been there before and I'm always telling her how good it is and how awsome the building is, so I finally took her to try it. We decided to sit at the bar and eat. It was really busy that night, but the bartender was great. He was friendly, gots us drinks right away, and took our order. I was expecting to have to wait awhile for the food because the restaurant looked pretty full, but it came out pretty quick and was delicious! We shared the Parmasean Chips for our appetizer. They were so good! We love the Garlic Aoli they serve with the Chips. Then we shared a Sicilian Pizza for our meal. I love Johnny Rocco's pizzas. They're thin crust and baked in a fire wood oven. Delicious! The pizza had pepperoni, italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and I think they put chilly flakes or something like that on it to make it a little spicey. It wasn't too spicey, but it had a nice little kick to it. The bartender looked super busy making tons of drinks, but he still made sure to check on us, ask how things were, and get us more drinks. Needless to say my friend is now hooked too! lol

  • Order: Parmasean Chips for our appetizer, and a Sicilian Pizza for our meal
 
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