The farm to table dining experience has taken New York by storm. Constantly, new places are using precious real estate to dedicate to the art of farming and delicious, local culinary eating. Rosemary’s in the heart of the West Village is the latest example of this growing phenomenon. This stand alone building uses its rooftop to grow many of the vegetables used on their menu, as well as creating their own breads, cheeses and meats. Very few items on the menu are not made on site.
I met my friend for a late dinner, since my new work hours only allow for this. Even at 9:30pm on a Monday, there was an hour wait at this spot that does not take reservations. Long wooden standing tables in the bar area were open so we headed back to enjoy a little bite while we waited for our actual table to become available.
Upon entering the restaurant, it feels like a Hamptons garden, with white Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling in an elegant way. Exposed brink and green plants acted as the main decorations, making it feel as if you were in a gorgeous backyard. The light wooden tables and bright light fixtures give the most beautiful, yet simple feel. It’s just lovely. If a boy took me on a first date here, he’d automatically get a second.
The adorable host, with his even cuter bow tie, offered to check my friends numerous bags without her even asking. Now that’s great service. We headed back and glanced over the food and drink menu trying to figure out our game plan.
All of the wines on the menu are $10 allowing for lots of options while preventing you from picking something solely based on price. However, I was lured away from their wine list to the cocktail menu. One drink in particular stood out; Birra al Basilico. It was a combination of cucumber water, basil infused saki, agave and wheat beer. In other words, it was a sophisticated adult’s version of a Saki Bomb. I loved every ingredient involved, especially saki, and was excited to try.
It was one of the lightest, refreshing drinks I have tasted. The wheat beer played the main role, being the most prominent flavor. The cucumber and basil flavors added to the freshness of the drink. Perfectly refreshing and light compared to the heaviness of the rest of the meal.
We decided to start with the best Italian combination I have come to love; mozzarella and prosciutto.
The homemade mozzarella was in a league of its own. The creamy, salty cheese soaked in its own juices and olive oil and topped with basil created this out of world experience. Then the board of salty prosciutto added the essential light meaty component to this dish. I couldn’t recreate this even if I tried. This is the sole reason for coming to a place like this, finding something that takes your favorite combination to an entirely new level. The portion size was generous too, giving us even more of a tasting then we even expected.
Half way through our cheese and meat paradise, we were seated. We settled our bar tab and made our way through the gorgeous restaurant. They brought our food over and we finished our meat and cheese while deciding what else to get. We knew focaccia was a must, but everything else felt up in the air.
Ultimately, after much debate, we decided on Rosemary’s Focaccia, Homemade Cavatelli and a side of Rosemary’s Potatoes.
First came the Focaccia.
Homemade and sliced into six pieces, the smell itself made my mouth water with excitement. Then I took a bite. First, I tasted the wonderful saltiness, followed by the sweet olive oil. The wonderfully light bread, rosemary and thyme melted in my mouth. I couldn’t stop taking bites as my friend told a wonderful story. Politeness is not allowed when it comes to this bread. Must devour immediately.
Then the cavatelli and potatoes arrived.
Although the coloring of the pasta kind of reminded me of an alien, the flavor allowed for me to quickly look past any initial impression. The home made pasta was cooked to the ideal al dente and the creaminess of the ricotta brought the entire dish together. The fresh peas just popped in your mouth with the perfect lightness and flavor. Then the gooey parmesan hung off the side of our fork allowing you to see and taste all of the wonderful flavors coming together.
Then the potatoes. It made me dream of coming back for brunch here with these on the side of over easy eggs. Adding salt to these could be considered sacrilegious with the seasoning being so spot on. The insanely crunchy exterior seemed almost baked rather then fried, but I could never achieve this level of texture on my own. The sweet olive oil and rosemary made each bite melt in your mouth in a way I didn’t know a potato could. I had to put one piece to the side to bring home for my potatolover6 (that was my sister’s old AOL screen name, ultimately the potato lover gave it a very big thumbs up).
The food was wonderful and portions were perfect for sharing. It screams a night out with the girls for delicious food and drink. I highly recommend and sharing should definitely be the way to go. The options are constantly changing based on the seasons and I can’t wait to come back and see what they decide to create next.
Rosemary’s – 18 Greenwich Avenue – New York, NY
Location: West Village, NY
Perfect For: Special Occasions, Girls’ Night Out, Date Night, Farm to Table
Reservations: Not Available
Favorite Dishes: Homemade Mozzarella, Rosemary Focaccia, Rosemary’s Potatoes