Last night, my hubby and I ditched our original Monday night ritual of cooking at home and decided to eat out. We ended up at Rosemary’s, a southern Italian gem in the Village.
We’ve been itching to try Rosemary’s for months now, but have always been too hungry to commit to the restaurant’s normal hour-and-a-half-long wait for a table. We decided to try our luck again as we were walking by last night. Darting between two Australian girls wearing super cute vintage shift dresses, I boldly asked the host for a table for two. The wait was only 30 minutes, and since neither of us was starving we decided to wait it out. Plus, the hosts use an awesome iPad app that allows them to take your number and automatically text you when your table is ready, giving you the freedom to walk around.
We were on sensory overload as we sat down at our table. The smell of fresh baked focaccia wafted towards us from the kitchen, and the dining room was very loud and packed with happy people sharing heaping bowls of pasta. While we waited for our appetizers, I ordered a glass of Lambrusco, a chilled sparkling red wine that is always a little too thirst-quenching, if you know what I mean.
We started with the melon and stone fruit salad with arugula, mint, and fennel.
The peppery arugula leaves mingled nicely with the bitter, crunchy, white curls of the fennel, and both contrasted the sweetness of the watermelon and cantaloupe, and the tart-yet-dulcet flavors of the peaches nicely.
Up next were warm squares of homemade focaccia sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt…
Along with octopus salame, which surprised us as our favorite dish of the evening.
In the ultimate labor of love, the octopus had been braised in a mixture of oranges, white wine, olive oil, bay leaf, and peppercorns before being molded and chilled to create a perfect consistency for slicing… and eating. It was served in discs that resemble mortadella, and topped with a succulent, vinegar-infused mixture of pickled cauliflower, tomato, and eggplant. Yummy, yummy.
For our entrées, I ordered this week’s pasta special, linguine vongole (white wine and clams sauce). It was good, but a little lackluster (translation: overcooked linguine in an unappetizing pool of oil and wine), especially following the octopus.
My hubby ordered orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe.
Lucky for him, his dish was far more superior to mine. Lucky for me, he let me share!! The orecchiette was swathed in smooth, nutty olive oil, and tossed with crunchy, bitter stems of broccoli rabe, lumps of rich, fatty sausage, and vivacious red slices of spicy pepper.
THE LOWDOWN: Crave-worthy. Rosemary’s is a celiac’s nightmare carb-lover’s paradise with fair prices and friendly service. Get there early (before 7 p.m.) or be prepared to wait hours for a table. And don’t forget to order the octopus salame.
Rosemary’s, 18 Greenwich Avenue, on the corner of West 10th Street.