The Flavor: Rockfish Food & Wine
Affordability, good wine, and a favorite place to dine were the inspirations behind Rockfish Food and Wine Restaurant. Owned by Olivia Byrd, the upscale American cuisine brings in the crowds each evening, though having Chef Josh Labrecque at the helm doesn’t hurt, either.
Labrecque has been with Rockfish for only about six months, but he’s got plenty of experience to round out his palate. His background includes positions at Local Roots and Blue Apron, as well as sous chef at Lucky and 202 Market.
“I love making ‘peasant food’- comfort food that just tastes good,” says Labrecque.
An avid hiker, he hiked the Appalachian Trail after high school and has completed the 2,060 mile Pacific Crest Trail and is about two thirds of the way through the Triple Crown. He also works on his own charcuterie and brews his own beers!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Winter Greens Pesto
(serves 4-6) This is a great dish for entertaining, because the pasta and pesto can be prepped a day or two in advance. This would also be great with some crispy pancetta sautéed with the veggies or topped with an oily grilled fish like salmon or mackerel. -Chef Labrecque
- 1 lb. peeled and diced sweet potatoes
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Boil potatoes until tender, drain, and spread on a sheet tray until steam subsides. Allowing potatoes to “dry” will lighten the texture of the pasta. Mash thoroughly. Mix in egg, salt, and nutmeg. Add the flour and mix/knead just until combined. Roll in portions into ½ inch ropes and cut into ½ inch dumplings. Lightly roll each dumpling across the tines of a fork and place on a floured sheet tray. Cook 2-3 minutes in boiling, salted water until pasta floats. The pasta can go directly into the sauce; or chilled and tossed in oil, will keep refrigerated for two days.
- 2 cups each kale and chard, well rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine in food processor or mortar and pestle and work to a paste.
For Final Dish:
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water to rehydrate
- 1 red onion, julienned
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
Drain tomatoes. Heat a large sautee pan over medium high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Sautee onions and garlic until softened. Add wine to deglaze and reduce by half. Add gnocchi, pesto, and tomatoes and cook until gnocchi absorbs most of the sauce. Season to taste and top with more Parmigiano if desired.