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Brunching at Rosemary’s

November 26, 2013

I have walked by Rosemary’s in the West Village so many times in the past year and a half but the crowd inside has always deterred me.  I had pretty given up on the idea of trying this Italian enoteca and trattoria when I passed by recently early one morning.  The spacious and sun drenched restaurant was only half filled so I immediately planned a brunch for the next weekend.

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Three of us arrived just a little past noon on a Saturday in the fall and waited a short while at the bar with a cup of coffee before we were seated.  It was almost nice enough to sit outside on the side walk but we opted to enjoy our meal indoors to fully experience the beautiful interior of the restaurant.

The brunch menu at Rosemary’s included an abbreviated version of their dinner menu as well as some brunch options.  Since it was our first time here, we had to start with some small plates and one of their focacces that we saw waiters parading out the open kitchen every two minutes.  After much deliberation, we settled on a trio of the cabbage, pecorino, chilies and almond salad, the chickpeas and smoked onions, and the radishes with butter and thyme with a side of focaccia filled with stracchino cheese.

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My favorite of the three vegetables was by far the chickpeas and smoked onions.  The smokiness from the onions created a robust under tone for the sweet and sour dressing and the creaminess of the chickpeas.  The cabbage salad was light and refreshing while the radishes with butter was presented in an interesting nontraditonal way, they really could have used a good sprinkle of coarse flor de sal.

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The focaccia arrived at our table right out of the oven and stuffed with a soft stracchino cheese.  The bread was crispy while the cheese unbelievably creamy and buttery.  This was definitely worth ordering.

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After gorging on the appetizers, we move onto our main dishes.  Rapini all’ uovo for ER and the eggs Benedict for JL.  The rapini all’ uovo was a simple dish, consisting of a bed of grilled broccoli rabe, charred radicchio, and mozzarella, all topped with a poached egg and bread crumbs.  This was a light dish that was perfect for vegetarians or if you were in a vegetable kind of mood.  The eggs Benedict was a basic preparation as well – house made coppa cotta was layered on top of crusty grilled filone with a perfectly poached egg.

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And for me?  I was in the mood for something a little heartier so I chose the stringhe di funghi at the urging of the waiter.  This was definitely by far the biggest plate of the three.  A generous portion of sauteed oyster mushroom was in the middle and topped with two poached eggs.  And either side were large helpings of prosciutto and pan fried fingerling potatoes.  I resisted polishing off the entire plate but failed in the end to say no to the crispy burnt bits of salty prosciutto and potatoes.

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It would have been great to sample some of the pastas on the menu but alas, we hit our limits for brunch.  This is just another reason to come back and revisit.  The brunch menu here is eclectic and diverse, great for whatever mood you might be in first thing in the morning.   Plus, the lovely setting could have not been more perfect for a girls’ brunch.  We can always use more of those in the neighborhood.

Rosemary’s | 18 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | http://rosemarysnyc.com/

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