A diner helps herself to pasta during Rosemary's 10th anniversary party.
Rosemary’s celebrates its 10th anniversary in the West Village this month. Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s

Resy SpotlightNew York

An Ode to Rosemary’s, By Those Who Love It Best

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When you think of a neighborhood restaurant, Rosemary’s comes as close to the definition as possible. For the past 10 years, the original West Village location has welcomed New Yorkers with the fluffiest of lemon mascarpone pancakes, delicious handmade pastas, and a lush rooftop garden where they grow their own vegetables.

To commemorate its 10th birthday — and the fact that Rosemary’s was the very first restaurant to join Resy — we spoke to the staff who’ve been there all along, and the regulars who’ve loved going there all these years. These are their stories.

Alejandra Garcia, Rosemary's Pastry Cook
Alejandra “Madrina” Garcia Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s
Alejandra Garcia, Rosemary's Pastry Cook
Alejandra “Madrina” Garcia Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s

Alejandra Garcia, Pastry Cook

Garcia has been with Rosemary’s at its West Village location for 10 years, starting as a cook on the garde manger station, handling prep and making salads, and eventually becoming a pastry cook.

Resy: What do you love most about your job and about working at Rosemary’s?

Garcia: My son and my daughter have both worked at Rosemary’s. I am so proud of them! When we work together side by side, we work together not as mother and children, but as partners and professionals. When my son was working on the line with [opening chef partner] Wade [Moises], and I watched him make the pastas, or make the verdure, I looked at him and thought: “That’s my son!”

It’s the best restaurant in my life. My family has worked here at times, and chef Wade loved my son and my daughter. Carlos [Suarez, Rosemary’s owner and founder] asks me about my kids because he knows my family. I am happy.

What keeps you working at Rosemary’s after all these years?

This is my house! I always want everything to be perfect in the kitchen. I always help with everything. The chef is confident in me. Carlos is a wonderful owner and he and his family love my tiramisu.

Can you share a memory or story from the job that particularly stands out to you?

I love when I have students working here with us. Sometimes I have two to three culinary students at a time.

Any favorite dishes or drinks?

The tiramisu, of course. And the semifreddo we used to have, and the cookies, too. When we were open for breakfast, I made blueberry and carrot muffins and they were so good.

If you could say anything at all to restaurant diners, what would you want them to know?

Everyone is welcome in this house. We make everything fresh here in the kitchen. I know because I see the produce arrive fresh and I make it with my own hands. We want to make everything perfect for our people.

Where do you hope to be in the next 10 years?

I just ask for God to give me life and health! I am known as “Madrina” (godmother) here because I bring coffee to the team, and I feed everyone in the kitchen. Some staff do not have family here, so I take care of them. If I have something, then that means I have something to give.

After countless dinner dates at Rosemary's, Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione celebrated their engagement at the restaurant in 2020 with family and friends.
After countless dinner dates at Rosemary’s, Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione celebrated their engagement at the restaurant in 2020 with family and friends. Photo courtesy of Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione
After countless dinner dates at Rosemary's, Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione celebrated their engagement at the restaurant in 2020 with family and friends.
After countless dinner dates at Rosemary’s, Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione celebrated their engagement at the restaurant in 2020 with family and friends. Photo courtesy of Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione

Jessica Zaloom and Michael Carcione, Rosemary’s Regulars

“After my now husband proposed to me on the High Line on a rare 70-degree day in November 2020, he surprised me with our families waiting for us at Rosemary’s West Village,” says Jessica Zaloom.

“The staff was so amazing in helping us plan everything,” Michael Carcione recalls. “This was October 2020, and we were approaching a second lock down and I was talking to Lauren at Casa Nela [Rosemary’s restaurant group], and she was amazing, and Eric the general manager was there on the day of to make sure everything went smoothly. Luis, our waiter whom we would always see, was also there too, and they all made us feel very safe during Covid.”

“This spot has always been special to us and where we have been on countless dates when we first met in the city,” says Zaloom. “The staff is always so kind and caring. We even listen to the epic Rosemary’s Spotify playlist when cooking dinner in our apartment. We will forever love Rosemary’s and will continue to visit it often together.”

Eric Binder, Rosemary's Director of Operations
Eric Binder. Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s
Eric Binder, Rosemary's Director of Operations
Eric Binder. Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s

Eric Binder, Director of Operations

Binder has been with Rosemary’s for nearly three years, first starting out as a general manager for their West Village location and becoming director of operations for the Rosemary’s brand in January.

Resy: What do you love most about your job and about working at Rosemary’s?

Binder: The people! I was very lucky to start with an already wonderful team at Rosemarys West Village, and that team has only grown and improved over time. Similarly, getting to know our guests and neighbors continues to be a highlight for me every day.

Any favorite dishes or drinks?

Sure do! The lemon linguine is my all-time favorite. It isn’t currently listed on the menu, but it’s always available if you know to ask.

Tell us more about your work on the garden.

Rosemary’s Rooftop Garden has been one of my favorite projects over the last few years. The team from Brooklyn Grange has been great to work with in planning our crops and harvest schedules and seeing our guests enjoy truly farm to table fresh ingredients and dishes is exciting. By midsummer, the garden is in full bloom with rows of vibrant tomatoes of all colors, fragrant basil and rosemary, and colorful edible flowers used to garnish cocktails and salads.

This year we will see our first harvest from our beehives that were installed last season, and I can’t wait to see how the chefs incorporate that into seasonal specials. The garden has never looked better, and I always suggest that our guests visit the rooftop. It’s a pleasant break from the city life to watch the bees, butterflies and birds buzz around, and overlooking Jefferson Market Garden certainly adds to the beauty.

Where do you hope to see Rosemary’s in the next 10 years?

I feel confident that Rosemary’s will continue to be a neighborhood favorite in the West Village, our newest location in Stuytown, and many more locations to come. My hope would be that whether there are two or 20 Rosemary’s that each one continues to embrace that neighborhood feeling, and hospitality toward our guests and teams.

Scenes From Rosemary's 10th Anniversary Party

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On May 17, Rosemary's celebrated its 10th anniversary with staff and regulars alike.

Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary's

The Rosemary's staff, including founder Carlos Suarez.

The Rosemary's staff, together with founder Carlos Suarez.

Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary's

The back-of-house staff of Rosemary's assembles in the rooftop garden.

Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary's

At the anniversary party, guests tasted radishes, grown right on the restaurant's rooftop.

Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary's

And they also dined on grilled whole fish and steak.

Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary's

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Sharon S., Rosemary’s Regular

“My wife and I celebrated our move to the West Village by getting dinner at Rosemary’s in late 2012, or early 2013,” says Sharon S. “We were students at the time, and we were looking for something we could afford — not some expensive three-Michelin-star place. It was within our price range at the time, and it felt very nice, so we decided to go there. Since then, we’ve made a tradition of going back every year, and fortuitously, they opened up a location right near where we live now so we’ve started going there.

“I really like that it feels like a neighborhood restaurant — both locations have this cozy, homey feeling that’s hard to find in New York sometimes.”

Enzo Amendola, Floor Supervisor at Rosemary's
Enzo Amendola. Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s
Enzo Amendola, Floor Supervisor at Rosemary's
Enzo Amendola. Photo by Danielle Adams, courtesy of Rosemary’s

Enzo Amendola, Floor Supervisor

Known as Rosemary’s “all-hands-on man,” Amendola has a serious green thumb and a knack for artistic pursuits. He got his start at Rosemary’s nine years ago as a server, working his way up to supervisor, floor manager, operations manager at Roey’s , and now floor supervisor at Rosemary’s in the West Village. When he isn’t running lunch service, he’s putting up holiday decorations, creating all of the chalk art in the restaurant, working in the garden, or making floral arrangements.

Resy: What made you initially want to join Rosemary’s?

Amendola: I joined Rosemary’s in 2013 and honestly, the few things that caught my attention were how warm and welcoming everyone was, the Italian cuisine, and especially the bright and openness of the space and decor of the restaurant made me feel cozy and comfortable.

What do you love most about your job and about working at Rosemary’s?

The diversity of both guests and staff, and the cool hippie vibe of the West Village, which is the only area of Manhattan I feel most comfortable with. It’s such a great neighborhood to work in, and I love working lunches because I get to see some of my favorite regulars.

Can you share a memory or story from the job that particularly stands out to you?

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and Rosemary’s literally becomes magic with all the decorations and lights, and cheerful people coming to celebrate the holiday season.

Any favorite dishes or drinks?

As a pure Italian there’s nothing better than an Aperol spritz and a plate of pasta. It’s honestly hard to choose since all our pastas are homemade and fantastic and delicious in their own ways, but if I have to pick and choose, it’s the cavatelli with heirloom tomatoes during the summer season. Give me anything with tomato sauce, and I’ll be happy.

How do you feel about Rosemary’s turning 10 this month?

Insane and hard to believe. It doesn’t feel like 10 years have passed already!

Where do you hope to be in the next 10 years?

Well, I hope Rosemary’s can open a nice location on the West Coast, like Santa Barbara or Malibu, so I can move there.

Chanell G. (right) with friends at Rosemary's, circa 2012/2013.
Chanell G. (right) with friends at Rosemary’s, back in 2013. Photo courtesy of Chanell G.
Chanell G. (right) with friends at Rosemary's, circa 2012/2013.
Chanell G. (right) with friends at Rosemary’s, back in 2013. Photo courtesy of Chanell G.

Chanell G., Rosemary’s Regular

“I celebrated my 21st birthday there back in November 2012, and Rosemary’s was so beautiful,” recalls Chanell G. “I was so excited to go, and it was awesome. I went with my mom and my friend and I had my first legal cocktail at the restaurant and it was just such a nice memory.

“The restaurant holds so many memories for me. At one point, I even went out on a date with one of the sous chefs; it wasn’t a love connection — but it was really nice while it lasted.

“I moved here to New York in 2010, and Rosemary’s has been the longest standing restaurant that my friends and I have always enjoyed. How long it’s been around, how incredible the food is, how loyal the patrons are — it’s incredible.”

 

Rosemary’s original West Village location is open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Deanna Ting is Resy’s New York Editor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Resy, too.