For some people, Valentine’s Day is a reason to splurge on a romantic meal with their beloved. For others, who’ve foregone the joys and labors of romantic love, or whose love may be on the rocks, a quiet night with delicious takeout may be just the ticket for this saintly holiday. If you’re the latter (cue up Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”), or if you have found “the one,” (Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”) and want to spend a relaxed evening at home, Roch’s Fresh Foods wants you to be their Valentine.
Three generations of Roch’s have been feeding hungry Rhode Islanders for nearly a century, and any business that has lasted that long must be doing something right. Most prepared foods, artisanal breads, and sweets are made on site. Get there before 3pm for the hot bar, where you’ll find hearty soups, pizza, and savory entrees, or choose from rotisserie chickens, veggies, salads, pastas, fish, chicken, vegetable, and beef entrees. If you have a special request, say, for a grilled ribeye, twice-baked potato, and roasted veggies, call or email the day before, and Sue Lamelin, catering and kitchen manager for 15 years, will prepare and deliver it for you. “We try to accommodate everyone,” she says. “Feeding people is an act of love. Ask my kids. They haven’t left yet.”
Victor Hugo wrote in 1866, “Food comforts.” So, if you like macaroni with your misery, here’s a remedy. Pour a glass of your favorite beverage, light a candle, cue up Neil Diamond’s soppy “Love on the Rocks,” and enjoy some tasty mac and cheese, piquant tricolored pasta, or tasty tortellini. And, if marriage eluded you, a steaming bowl of Sue’s Italian Wedding Soup with garlicky mini-meatballs, escarole, celery, carrots, and pasta may lead you to flights of fancy. Before long you’ll be dancing the Tarantella.
Roch’s entrees like the silky baked salmon with sesame garlic sauce, paired with buttery, mashed Yukon potatoes and crunchy string beans with toasted almonds, is sure to warm your heart. The yakiniku chicken thighs are tender and delicious, paired with orzo with roasted vegetables, lemon balsamic, basil, feta cheese, and a side of seafood salad. I could go on with all the wonderful options for tasty take-out from Roch’s, but let’s talk about dessert.
What is February 14 without chocolate? I can’t think of a better way to complete your meal than with Roch’s chocolate ganache brownie: a fudgy, frosted confection that leaves a sweet finish in the throat, or the crispy cannoli splattered with chocolate and packed with chocolate chips on either end. Rumor has it that Roch’s will also be offering chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate raspberry heart-shaped cakes.
So, if you’re flying solo this Valentine’s Day and haven’t yet lapsed into a food coma, cue up Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again,” have a good laugh at this Hallmark holiday, and put yourself to bed.
1183 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett • 284-2900