Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: Dining Out

Newtown’s Brick Hotel reopens with new owners

Circa 1763 is resurrected as a steak house

The tomahawk steak at Rocco’s is a cut large enough to serve at least two hungry people and comes with two salads and one of the restaurant’s housemade sauces.

Alex Mastoris has worked in the restaurant business for most of his life, primarily at his family’s Mastoris Diner in Bordentown, N.J.

Around the time he decided he wanted to do something different he learned the circa-1763 Brick Hotel in Newtown was for sale.

“This came up and I thought it was the perfect venue for a steakhouse,” he said. “There is no other steakhouse in the area.”

After extensive renovations he and partner Marc Gelman opened Rocco’s at the Brick in Newtown last month with executive chef Cole Caprioni in charge in the kitchen. From the first day it opened, it has been busy, especially on weekends.

General manger Angela Newton grew up in Newtown, and said that, like other residents, she is happy to see it open again. “It’s wonderful to see it filled with people again and lit up at night.”

It’s also wonderful, she said, that “Now you don’t have to go into the city to get a good steak.”

The Brick had been a longtime favorite in Newtown for special occasions and for everyday dining. Caprioni’s new menu is designed to continue that trend, with entrees that range from a $16 burger to a $90 porterhouse steak for two.

In between are the popular tomahawk steak, which also serves two, filet mignon, French dip and strip steak.

Seafood lovers will find salmon dishes and mussel pots on the menu, along with an extensive raw bar. The buck-a-shuck oyster bar during happy hour is a customer favorite, said executive sous chef Mike Livelsberger, who left a position as executive chef at Bowman’s Tavern in Solebury Township to take the job at Rocco’s.

Livelsberger said the restaurant uses a steakhouse broiler, which, with a little butter and seasoning, he said “is the perfect way to cook steak.” For those who want some added flavor there are six sauces that are made in-house: sauce béarnaise, Chianti bordelaise, chimichurri, au poivre, Rocco’s steak sauce and Danish blue cheese crust.

Diners have the option of being seated in the main dining room or the more casual lounge area. A lunch menu includes more sandwiches including grilled cheese and buttermilk fried chicken, and an array of salads including chicken cobb, salmon nicoise and Thai steak salad.

In addition to her job as general manager, Newton is the sommelier for the restaurant’s extensive wine list.

While Rocco’s doesn’t have a gluten-free menu, the staff has a special set of tools they use to create dishes that cater to those with allergies or who need to avoid gluten, Livelsberger said. Even vegetarians can find something on the menu, he said.


1 E. Washington St., Newtown

Starters $6-$12, entrees $16-$72, steaks $32-$90 (serves two)

Customer favorites:
Tomahawk steak for two, filet mignon, strip steak, raw bar, halibut ceviche, clams roulette, lobster roll.

Daily: 11a.m.-10:30 p.m., lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. dinner 4:30-10:30 p.m.
Full bar




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