Rocky and Carlo's Restaurant and Bar has become an Italian institution in its own right. It is a terrific gathering place for Italians and the French, German, Irish and Isleño families who have intermarried with them in St. Bernard Parish over the years. Conversation is always lively and of course the restaurant owners serve authentic Italian dishes with ingredients from their own vegetable and herb garden.
In the 1950s, two Sicilian families immigrated to St. Bernard Parish - the Tommaseos and the Gioes. The oldest boy from each family married a girl from the other family. Rocco Tommaseo married Anna Gioe and Carlo Gioe married Leonarda Tommaseo (pictured above). In 1965, the two families opened their restaurant and named it for the two oldest boys, Rocky and Carlo. They cooked with local produce from Italian growers including Creole tomatoes, merliton, green peppers, eggplant, fava beans, cacuzzia (baseball bat squash), celery, green onions, kale and mustard greens. Today, the same two families still own and operate the restaurant. Two of the original owners (Tommoso and Leonarda) operate the "back of the house" and cook the Sicilian dishes; veal parmesan, stuffed peppers - shrimp or meat, and meatballs and spaghetti with all of their own blends of herbs and spices. They also bake Italian desserts.
The restaurant is a large open dining area and patrons serve themselves cafeteria style. A St. Joseph altar in the corner features a fava bean rosary. A photo wall pays tribute to family, friends and staff. There are also framed 8 1/2" x 11" photographs of Italian film stars.