“What hasn’t changed at all is the food quality,” said Mark Maddock, the company’s longtime vice president of operations.
Seafood—as the restaurant’s name suggests—stars in many of Rockfish’s dishes. The menu features salmon, shrimp, mahi, trout and more served in various cooking styles, Maddock said. But there are also several non-seafood items, such as pasta, barbecued ribs and steak.
“Rockfish was founded as a chef-driven concept,” he said. “There are people that have started those recipes originally, and most of those recipes are still in place at Rockfish.”
One such recipe is the eatery’s signature gumbo, Maddock said.
“That recipe hasn’t changed in 20-something years,” he said. “It has a specific roux from Louisiana that we use as the starting point. ... After working here for 17 years, it’s something I still eat every day.”
Rockfish also features a full bar and a dessert menu. One of the most popular desserts is the bread pudding, Maddock said. It starts with French croissants and a baguette. Eggs, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla are added, and the end result resembles a dense cake doused with a bourbon-butter sauce.
Nearly everything is cooked from scratch. The restaurant also promotes seasonal recipes showcasing the kitchen’s culinary creativity.
“We have a lot of regulars at Rockfish—a lot of people that come literally two times a week, three times a week,” he said. “So, when we change our menu up a little bit or bring in new items, they get very excited.”
Cooking all these from-scratch dishes can be a labor-intensive process, but customers really appreciate the quality, he said.
“It is the norm for somebody to drop their fork, look at [me] and say, ‘This is amazing. This is fantastic. How do you do this? That’s why I come here because I can’t duplicate this at home,’” Maddock said.