Rocco’s Italian Grille, the charming Winter Park restaurant with a multitude of awards, most recently another Silver Spoon from Orlando Home & Leisure magazine, announced this week several changes in its menu and pricing structure. Owner Rocco Potami has joined other restaurants in making available a prix fixe menu of four courses for $29.95. The allure of a prix fixe menu, one that offers a choice of courses at a rate lower than if the items were ordered individually, is that diners can enjoy a full meal at a bargain price.
But Potami is also instituting another change: a small plates menu for people who want to save money and eat less — somthing that should be especially alluring this time of year. The tapas-like menu features several options starting at as little as $4.95. As with the prix fixe menu, the small-plates bill of fare is available either in the main dining room or the bar area. (Some restaurants trying to lure guests with specially priced menus restrict them to the bar area — you can tell these places by the packed lounge and empty dining rooms.)
And if that isn’t enough, Potami has also lowered the prices on some of his regular entrees on the a la carte menu.
“I made price reductions wherever I could without sacrificing quality,” Potami said in a statement. “I know dining-out dollars are tight. I wanted to add value for the guests who have continued to support us through both good times and the current tough economic climate.”
I’ve been noticing restaurants trying one or another of these tactics to survive the economy, but I can’t think of another restaurant that has instituted all three at once. I think it’s a smart move, and I’m glad to see Potami make the changes. I especially like the smaller portion options — that’s a trend I’d like to see hang on even as the economy continues to improve.
Rocco’s is at 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park. The phone number is 407-644-7770. You can see the new menus at Rocco’s Web site.