I’ll never forget the great fire of February 2010… when my favorite party store, Village Paper literally exploded. I walked past around 730am as fire crews were trying to battle blaze, but neither they nor the snow could save this neighborhood fave.
Since its demise, restaurateurs from around the city have been vying to scoop up the place and make it the next West Village hotspot. But in the end Carlos Suarez (owner of Bobo- one of my favorite date spots in the city) got the space and after extensive renovations….Rosemary’s popped up!
*Blood Orange Spritzer*
On the corner of West 10th and Greenwich Avenue, Rosemary’s is an absolutely beautiful restaurant. Somehow the place makes you feel like your outside when you are inside and the roof sports an herb and vegetable garden where they source ingredients for their menu and use for their food education outreach program with P.S. 41, the school just around the corner.
I’ve heard some pretty bad comments about the lengthy wait but we didn’t have any trouble on a recent Thursday night at 7pm (granted it was the day after 4th of July but….). We bellied up to the bar, ordered a glass of wine and waited for our friends to arrive. Note that your entire party must be present to sit at your table, but isn’t that true almost anywhere in this city?
*Chopped Salad Siciliana*
While you wait for your table (you will wait unless you go at an off time), hit up the wine bar in back. It’s fun and crowded, and while they only have a beer and wine license, they make up for it with creative wine/beer cocktails, non-alcoholic spritzers (the blood orange is fantastic) and a very reasonably priced wine list ($40 bottles across the board). But soon after we were sat in the middle of the restaurant in a prime people-watching spot. Your fellow diners are chic and beautiful…. expected for a place like this in tony West Village and the wait staff sports their own personal flair in their uniforms (our server had a huge pink bow in her hair).
*Summer Vegetable Minestrone*
The menu is very straight forward and almost begs for sharing between the table with its small plates, pastas and few entrees. For Italian food, it is incredibly light and fresh and still completely satisfying. It’s simple and straightforward and priced very well for the quality of the food (four very good entrees, two big salads, two glasses of wine and two non-alcoholic drinks came to $140). When I say we loved our meal, we LOVED our meal. There was literally nothing left on any of our plates. The summer vegetable minestrone is my new favorite summer soup and the Sicilian salad should be left on the menu all year long (the addition of caper berries is genius).
*Market Fish (Branzino) with pea vines and cherry tomatoes*
It was a magical night… the weather was perfect (it wasn’t 1000 degrees like it had been for so many days before), our date night companions were fabulous (I wish Greg didn’t have to go back to his last year of B School in Penn so we could hang out more this year) and the food was just what I needed after the previous days food and drinking binge (4th of July).
You MUST put Rosemary’s on your dining list. The atmosphere is jovial and comfortable (think an Italian version of Nantucket) and is great for any occasion. In fact I am planning to go back next week for a girls’ night, just recommended it to a friend whose parents are coming in town next weekend, and my boyfriend is taking his team from work out for dinner there in a few weeks. RIP Village Paper, you’re really missed but Rosemary’s is doing you justice.
18 Greenwich Avenue (at West 10th Street)