Rocco’s Pizza & Pasta Carryout in Oak Park

Rocco’s Pizza & Pasta Carryout in Oak Park OAK PARK, Michigan — Growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Pasquale Lamarra had ready access to some of the best pizza and pasta in the area — at his parents’ pizzeria. But ever since LaMarra moved to the Detroit area, he’s been searching for a pie that brings back the taste of home. “Coming here to Michigan,” he says, “I wanted a slice of pizza — a good one.” Not finding what he craved, Lamarra decided to make it himself. Already the owner of a handful of restaurants, including Pastaio Handmade Pasta & Pizza in Royal Oak, he believed he could offer “the best slice of pizza anywhere in Michigan.” Plus, he saw an opening in the market — both figuratively and literally. The longtime home of Primo’s Pizza in Oak Park was vacant. “We knew Primo’s had been a popular place for years,” Lamarra says. “And I had been wanting to get back into the pizzeria business. So we thought it was a great location to start up a new chain.” Introducing Rocco’s, a slice joint reminiscent of the New York and New Jersey pizzerias Lamarra grew up with. Rocco’s will offer a mouthwatering eight (8!) different pizzas by the slice, as well as build-your-own pizzas, specialty pies, pasta, salads, some “old school Italian American classics” like Chicken Parmigiana, plus a modern take on mozzarella cheese sticks (breaded, fried burrata with a creamy stracciatella center). To Lamarra, the most important aspect of Rocco’s menu is that every single thing is made to order from scratch. The pizzas are made with plum tomatoes, fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil and fresh mozzarella. The specialty pies are each topped with a unique cheese blend to complement their toppings. The pastas are handmade. Even the salad dressings are made in-house. With restaurants and bars in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and Royal Oak, Michigan, LaMarra is excited for Rocco’s to join the family. And speaking of family, not only did Lamarra’s parents own pizzerias back in the day, now his three children are getting in on the family business — as restaurant names: Rocco’s pizzeria now open in Oak Park, Gabriela’s will be a Mediterranean pasta and seafood concept opening sometime next year in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, and Maximilian’s will be… well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Rocco’s is located at 10100 W. Nine Mile in Oak Park and is open seven days a week for carry out only. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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