Miami

Rosie’s chicken and waffles. All photos courtesy of Rosie’s

The RundownMiami

Everything You Want to Know About Rosie’s, and Its New Backyard

By

The greatest pandemic-era success story in Miami restaurants was without a doubt Rosie’s, the pop-up brunch spot outside the Copper Door Bed and Breakfast that became an instant weekend destination. This little patio from B&B owners Jamilla Ross and Akino West did as much to put Overtown on Miami’s culinary map as Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, despite never opening a full-service dining room or taking orders on anything other than a smartphone.

Sadly, the Copper Door closed, and Rosie’s has moved twice. But its following is so strong the restaurant survived all of that, and still has a long wait on weekends. Rosie’s latest iteration is a sunny outdoor space in Little River that’s added a lot to the menu and even more to its service.

Here’s what to know before you go, including how to make sure you get a literal seat at the table.

Dine in the shade outside at Rosie’s.
Dine in the shade outside at Rosie’s.

1. There’s a new neighborhood to enjoy outside.

Rosie’s moves from its old city center-adjacent locations in Overtown and Allapattah north to Little River. The new digs are in a mostly residential area, on NW 72nd St. and NW 2nd Ave. near the Center for Subtropical Affairs.

“When we decided to close (Copper Door) we were looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood where we could find a sense of community like we had in Overtown,” Ross says. “Little River really fit that aesthetic and vibe.”

They’re calling the new space “the backyard,” and though it seats twice as many people as previous locations, it’s still 100% outdoors. While that might sound absolutely blissful for brunches in December and January, in summertime it sounds a little like having brunch on the surface of Venus. Ross and West have you covered — literally, in some cases — as the new backyard is filled with umbrellas, shady foliage, overhangs, and lots of fans. Just think of the heat as an extra layer of authenticity to this true Southern brunch.

2. You can now reserve a table, and get a waiter.

The original Rosie’s was born out of pandemic-era necessity, a food truck parked outside the Copper Door that plated up next-level brunch with minimal contact. Now that we’re (mostly) back to dining as usual, Rosie’s is moving to a more-traditional style of dining.

The best part about this shift is that Rosie’s is now taking reservations, so lingering outside on a sweltering August morning waiting for a table is a thing of the past. Ross recommends booking tables for weekend brunches, particularly between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Though, if for some reason you get nostalgic about sweating through pre-brunch waiting for your name to be called, they still accept walk-ins.

This Rosie’s also has full waiter service, which means real menus and waiters coming to your table to explain them. Those skilled servers will also offer recommendations and answer any questions, and most importantly, will refill your water when it gets empty.

“This version of Rosie’s is more elevated,” Ross explains. “Now we have full service, it’s a higher level of hospitality. (The old Rosie’s) was more of a pop-up model.”

Rosie’s wild mushroom polenta.
Rosie’s pastrami hash, with sweet potato sformato.

3. Brunch is still the game, but new local flavors abound.

In addition to expanded service, Rosie’s has also added a lot more light, vegetable-forward offerings, since eating outside in the summer doesn’t always inspire shrimp and grits. You’ll still find those on the menu, though, alongside Rosie’s legendary lemon ricotta pancakes, chicken and biscuits, and other brunch staples.

Despite the expansion, Rosie’s is still a brunch-only operation. It’ll open at 9 a.m., Thursday-Sunday, and close at 2:30 p.m. during the week and 3 p.m. on weekends.

But with more seats and a larger kitchen, Chef Akino West can get creative. And by “creative,” we mean “figure out what to do with all the mangoes from the on-property mango tree.” Solution #1: put them in a new burrata appetizer, then add honey, melon, and grilled sourdough.

That bread comes from Ori Bakery, a Miami-based, woman-owned bakery previously best known for its outlandish cakes. The local sourcing continues with the new grilled sausage, a boudin link from Babe’s Meat & Counter in Kendall. 

For even more umami, look to the bottom of the menu and the new smoked pastrami hash. The bowl starts with a base of sweet potato sformato, then adds crispy potatoes, charred green onions, feta and Parmesan cheeses, and pastrami. Light it’s not. But you didn’t come to Rosie’s to fuel up for a bike ride.

4. From iced tea to cocktails, the drinks are next-level.

The new Rosie’s lets you get your boozy brunch on without having to stop at Publix to grab prosecco and mixers. You’ll find the usual lineup of local craft beers like La Rubia and Jai Alai, along with a small selection of natural and biodynamic wines perfect for sipping during a backyard brunch.

The coolest new addition, though, is the lineup of craft cocktails, many of which were developed by experimenting with Rosie’s line of fresh-squeezed juices.

“We have a seasonal lemonade made with local fruit,” Ross says, “We’ve had fun mixing that with vodka or gin. And playing with our in-house juices and spirits is always fun.”

The drink menu also includes a bloody mary with chipotle and torched watermelon, as well as an Aperol spritz Ross describes as “classic and refreshing.” No, there’s no bottomless mimosa option as of yet, but Monday Morning You will probably thank Rosie’s for that.

If you’re not trying to give yourself a 4 p.m. hangover, Rosie’s also has a selection of three different iced teas from Little River’s Helen Kim. Folding fan and slow-drawled comments about the heat not included.

5. This isn’t Rosie’s last stop.

Rosie’s “backyard” didn’t get that name just because West and Ross are trying to evoke a hospitable, neighborly vibe. It’s because it’s a literal backyard near a Little River house that will be Rosie’s permanent, we-mean-it-this-time home.

“We’re currently renovating a house adjacent to this lot, and it’s kind of a full circle moment,” Ross says. “We opened (Copper Door) in a residential setting. Renovating a house lends into our journey as entrepreneurs and that was an opportunity we wouldn’t have had in another community in another neighborhood.”

The house will add air-conditioned indoor seating as well as full dinner service to complement the popular brunch. Ross says they also hope to offer happy hour and afternoon snacks. Don’t look for the house to open any time soon, though. Early 2024 is the goal, according to Ross, but if you know anything about Miami restaurants, you know that’s probably just a starting point.