by Jen Merrill
Though the rock bass is one of the most common fish of large warm-water streams and rivers, the local restaurant that takes its name from the red-eyed, sturdy-looking sunfish is anything but common.
RockBass Grill inhabits the old Catalano’s building in Wormleysburg, boasting a spectacular view of the Susquehanna River and the city of Harrisburg. Owned by Donald L. Carter, Jr. – who also owns the neighboring restaurants Dukes Bar and Grille and Dockside Willies – RockBass Grill’s atmosphere and décor make patrons feel as though they’re dining aboard a yacht in the 1950s.
“I describe it as a casual fine-dining restaurant. We’re high volume,” says the restaurant’s executive chef, Chris Deline.
Deline enthuses that his restaurant is the place to go if you’re looking for fresh seafood in Central Pennsylvania.
“We get fresh fish in almost daily,” says Deline. “I’m really happy to offer the daily fresh catches. We’re the place to come for that.”
Those daily fresh catches can be wood-fire-grilled, broiled, sautéed or blackened and can be topped with decadent sauces like a creamy dill sauce, lemon chive butter or tropical mango salsa.
Deline also crafts lunch and dinner specials, such as his recent pecan-crusted sea trout drizzled with a smoked apricot glaze and served with a side of sweet potato hash. The fall-apart-flaky trout was well balanced with the crunch of the pecan crusting, and the sweet glaze served to round out the dish perfectly.
“We specialize in fresh seafood, shellfish and steaks, and we do most things in-house,” says the chef. “Overall, the whole menu uses a lot of fresh ingredients, which I’m really happy with.”
Though RockBass is best known for its seafood and steaks, its menu goes far beyond that to include more casual dishes like burgers, sandwiches, pastas, soups and more.
And don’t forget about their generously portioned brunch, which is served each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and continues to utilize fresh seafood in dishes such as the RockBass Crab Hash – two poached eggs atop crab, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions and home-fried potatoes.
Whether you stop by for lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour or even a late-evening snack, everyone in your party is sure to find something delicious at RockBass Grill.