I find it so important for my emotional well-being to set aside quality time for friends. It’s easy to get defeated by my day to day grind and excuse myself from making that extra effort, but the minute I’m greeted by the smiles of my girlfriends, the anxieties of the week instantly wash away.
This particular weekend the QT was much needed, so my friend Christine and I set aside the whole day for ourselves, beginning with an ambitiously early SoulCycle class to sweat out the cocktails from the night before and then undoing all calorie-burning at a carb-heavy brunch.
I chose Rosemary’s based on its convenient location and some recent raves from friends, so we went from Latin flavor in the cycling studio to Italian comfort cooking for brunch. The dangerous part of brunching immediately after exercising is a.) you’re starving and b.) you justify everything unhealthy on the menu. Oh well!
Rosemary’s is quite the brunch scene, with an open floor plan packed to the gills with rustic tables, industrial bulb chandeliers, greenery, and oversized windows. The space is large and they fill it with as many people as possible, which means very close proximity to other diners and scattered communal tables. As long as you’re not seated next to one of those non-New Yorkers who actually wants to converse with strangers over a personal dining experience, it’s nothing we aren’t used to. Rosemary’s also boasts a rooftop garden sourcing many of their fresh ingredients featured on the menu, which is right up my alley.
Between copious amounts of chatter, Christine and I ordered our lattes, buying some time to look over the menu. It’s a good thing we were busy catching up, because our waiter didn’t come back to get our order for another 15 minutes, sans lattes.
We ordered the bread basket and the burrata when the waiter did return. I was expecting to be impressed by the focaccia, but we weren’t blown away by anything served in the bread basket. It was a collection of overly-dry carbs that we both could have done without.
The house made mozzarella and burrata, on the other hand, was impressive. Served with fig and arugula, it was dangerously good; we tried to reserve our appetite for the rest of our meal, but it was impossible not to clean the plate.
Another 15 minutes later, our plates were cleared and we ordered our main course. I genuinely dislike having to look at dirty plates with food remnants, and this was extra annoying because the tables were miniature and the dishes were unavoidably cluttered and took up any free space.
As for mains, Christine ordered the eggs Benedict, which was served on filone (Italian bread) with thick house made coppa cotta (thick salami). Christine felt that the grilled crusty bread made the dish more special than the usual Benny, and she would definitely order this rich dish again.
I ordered the stringhe de funghi, which consisted of a poached egg served over a bed of delicious oyster mushrooms and prosciutto. The yolk from the egg added a perfect amount of extra sauce to the dish, and the salty prosciutto paired perfectly with the buttery mushrooms. This brunch dish was a winner for anyone who likes mushrooms.
I have to insert here the lack of attention from our waiter. She was very pleasant and nice when she was around, but she was totally overcommitted to tables. I’ve had the same experience at dinner there and think in general, Rosemary’s is understaffed for the capacity of people they seat at a time. Brunch rush is already intense in NYC, but they’d have an even quicker turnaround if they staffed appropriately and cut out the 30 minutes+ of idle waiting time we experienced.
The Bitches say: B. The service took away from our brunch experience and attributed to the lower grade, which is truly unfortunate because the food overall is really good. Dine al fresco on the sidewalk seats in warmer weather and enjoy the fresh ingredients in house made dishes from their rooftop garden.
18 Greenwich Avenue
Rosemary’s serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.