It's NEVER good. Open up a can of Ragu, tip out some canned shellfish, overcook some white pasta and get your spouse irritated with you (in order to mimic the vibe from Rocco's slightly-surly wait staff) and you've basically got yourself a Rocco's Plum Tomato experience.
For $20 to $35 a person, per complete meal, you'll get goof that's the kind of bland that gives all Italian a bad name. At the same time, the blandness is what I think must appeal to Rocco's many fans.
You know who they are. They're the types of people who grew up on Spaghetti-Os and refused to eat most non-white foods for most of their youth. They grew up in small towns and have flooded into Toronto for work. Lucky for them, we have Rocco's. It's a comfort to know that even in the big city, one can savour the taste of home.
Rocco's Plum Tomato in the Annex (on Bloor West) is currently closed for reservations, which makes me hopeful. (FYI: it's the beginning of September 2010 as I'm writing this.) My hope is that along with a new interior, Rocco's get some a personality to match. Maybe a new chef? One that's been to Italy? Or at least one who knows that sauce in a jar/can is sacrilegious.
Rocco's Plum Tomato
585 Bloor St W
Toronto, ON M6G 1K5