The hours between 12:00 and 4:00PM on Sundays is a free-for-all of bottomless mimosas, hungover college students, and plates upon plates of spiffy and pretentious variations on eggs. Brunch is fast becoming my favorite meal though; there are not many places where you see pancakes and burgers on the same menu. It’s also an excuse to drink during the day. A reservation has become an absolute must to get a seat at one of these establishments promoting binge drinking. If you don’t have one, you are subject to waiting an hour to an hour and a half on the sidewalk listening to girls complain to each other about
On this day, after trying two such places, we ended up turning away at the sight of the line out the door. We instead turned to Rosemary’s in the West Village because it was a beautiful day and they had outdoor seating, and really, just because I was starving and decided to “just go here”.
Rosemary’s is an enoteca AND a trattoria, which is a giveaway that this establishment, is in fact, Italian. After we sat down, two Italian’s (I know this because of their accent and because they actually said to the waiter “We are Italian”) sat down next to us. After looking at the menu, they flagged down the waiter and said (and I kid you not) that they “didn’t know this place was Italian” and they “just wanted pizza”. They ended up leaving.
Now. First of all, you’re Italian. Trattoria and Enoteca weren’t dead giveaways? Secondly, I could stand on any corner in New York, throw a rock and hit a pizza place. You didn’t see any wandering around the West Village????
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Rosemary’s interior is beautiful and airy, with a large amount of seating inside, outside, and half-way outside. The roof has a roof-top garden, which, you know, a lot of places have now. But do all restaurants have a ROOFTOP GARDEN WEB CAM? With LIVE VIEWS OF THE GARDEN? I find this very strange. Very strange indeed. Knowing my luck I will witness a murder or something salacious happening.
It took about 10 minutes to get silverware, even though the table had been empty for a while, and only after we got our laughably small appetizer. Despite being stupid-small, it was good. We got the calamari with celery, raisins, and chili oil. It was spicy and sweet, and the calamari was roasted perfectly; not too chewy, just tender enough. I could have done with less raisins, but maybe my teaspoon full just had too many.
They charge extra for bread, which in my opinion is a sin if you call yourself an Italian restaurant. I don’t care if it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Something should be on the table the second my butt hits the chair. The cocktails were over priced, and for some reason my rosemary-lemonade prosecco only got good during the last two sips.
While waiting for our entrees I got a peek at our neighbors’ foccace. The smoked salmon on foccacia with marscapone and lemon jam came out cut into triangles and looked difficult to eat, but appetizing. The fig and prosciutto with arugula and balsamic looked even better, but very heavy; the foccacia was about an inch and half thick. It did come out on a wooden plank which aggravated me to no end.
Our entrees were the best thing about this enotrattoriteca. The “Flying Pigs Farm BLT” with pork belly, pickled cabbage, mustard seeds, sungold tomato jam on homemade pretzel was ab…so…lutely…gorgeous. Fatty and greasy, tangy and sweet, on an amazing piece of bread. It was better than sex.
I ordered the fusilli a la napolitana with pomodoro, homemade burrata, basil puree, pine nuts, and parmigiano. You’re thinking, “Pasta? For brunch?” I know, it was a weird choice. I was in the mood for pasta, and also for a brunch menu, it really didn’t have many brunch options. The entire left side of the menu is mostly individual, overpriced meats and cheeses, along with those all-too-small appetizers. The right side is salads, sandwiches, pastas and entrees. And then in the center is a teensy, weensy section for brunch. My point being, I wasn’t impressed with the brunch choices, and there really is no wrong time for pasta.
$14 for a bread basket, $12 for bubbly wine, and an appetizer I don’t even remember inhaling, brunch at Rosemary’s was trying way too hard. There are many, many Italian places in New York that are just as good, most of the time better, and aren’t trying half that hard. I wouldn’t recommend it, except for the BLT sandwich. Instead of sitting down, order it to go and sit in a near by park and people watch. That would be a much better way to enjoy that amazing sandwich
18 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10011 (212) 647-1818