When Pete Pjetrovic was presented with the opportunity to join businessman and restaurateur Rocco Trotta in opening an elegant, classic American steakhouse at 72 Madison Avenue in New York City, he jumped at the chance.
“I knew this was going to be a place where people wanted to be,” says Pjetrovic, now general manager of Rocco Steakhouse. “We buy only top-quality stock; all our fish is delivered daily; all our meat is certified prime-aged; and it’s as top-of-the-line as you can be.”
But it’s not just the food that makes Rocco Steakhouse special. Pjetrovic had spent the previous 10 years as general manager at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, and was well-regarded in the industry for the outstanding quality of service his staff always offered its customers. That same quality is displayed each night at Rocco.
“In order to provide great service, it all comes from experience. That’s why everyone who works at Rocco is required to have a minimum of 10 years of experience working in a New York City steakhouse,” he says. “You can’t get someone who’s only been doing this for a short time and expect them to be at the top of the game. That won’t work for us here, because our goal is to be the best.”
From Wolfgang’s, Pjetrovic brought along beverage director Jeff Kolenovic, executive chef Johnny Jevric, and headwaiter and sommelier Henry Doda—all of whom have more than a decade’s experience of working together. But even the eight waiters and 18 kitchen staff at Rocco have worked for more than 10 years in the steakhouse business.
“When you have that type of experience, you know the proper way to approach the customer, you know how to take an order properly, and you know all the cuts,” Pjetrovic says. “Our people know exactly what they are supposed to do to make this an amazing dining experience for everyone."