Rockwood Filling Station *CLOSED*
2512 University Drive
Pizzas ranged from $9–12 if my memory serves me well.
There can never be enough places selling gourmet pizza, right? I’m not a purist; you won’t find me expounding on the glories of a New York slice or the goopiness that is Chicago Deep Dish. No, wave a few artichoke hearts and slices of prosciutto my direction and I’ll come running. And so, after the Durham food blogs exploded with reviews of Rockwood Filling Station, my next place to review was destined.
The restaurant’s walls are the yellow of mustard seed and adorned with vibrantly colored geometric paintings of cityscapes. There are quirky fish swimming across the bar top as well, all of which I’d enjoy more if I were dreaming. The atmosphere is definitely that of a neighborhood joint; I can envision myself whiling away an evening at the bar.
The cocktail list consists of standards with an extra tweak here and there, resulting in drinks like the Jamarita, that just substitute rum for tequila. I did appreciate that sidecars were included, which is one of my favorite drinks. There is also a small wine list featuring a few varietals I hadn’t heard of yet, including Soave, which is white, dry, and from Italy. Wine is served in juice glasses that sacrifice a bit of style for novelty.
We started with a very simple salad that consisted of layers of mozzarella, tomato, and a sprinkling of arugula leaves. The drizzled red onion vinaigrette was heavy on the onion chunks, but the oil and vinegar needed to be further emulsified.
We split one of the personal pizzas, which is the perfect amount for two people. Our choice was the White Pizza with ricotta, provolone, spinach, and caramelized onion. Overall, there was just way too much cheese on the dish, making me think more often of my waistline and not enough about the quality of ingredients.
The ice cream at Rockwood’s had garnered rave reviews online, so we chose the ice cream sandwich for dessert. This play on the traditional snack item sandwiched a scoop of ice cream between two layers of brioche. I don’t think brioche was a great choice but the ice cream was indeed delicious, if redundantly named Nutella Hazelnut swirl.
Overall, the restaurant did just fine for a pizza craving but this reviewer did not find it terribly intriguing. While we might come back for the occasional meal, I doubt Rockwood Filling Station will become a regular stop on our dining rotation.