I think we can all agree that this whole urban farmhouse thing is getting a bit played out. While the rooftop garden movement is all cute and cuddly, it rarely results in a restaurant with more to show for itself than "we grow our own vegetables and herbs on the roof." After bad experiences in the West Village (read Bell Book & Candle), we had good reason to be suspicious of the this farmhouse hot spot, Rosemary's.
Rosemary's is brought to you by the same people behind Bobo (a place we're not entirely fond of), but what we found here was pleasantly surprising. Rosemary's may grow stuff upstairs, but if you're in a sun dress or a bow tie, downstairs is the place to be in the West Village this summer. This place is a Class A Girls' Night Out destination. Considering that they go big in the wine, cheese, and pasta departments, we're not surprised that it's crawling with huge crews of females. "Oh my god, is that top Isabel Marant? Did you get it at the Barneys sale? LOVE." Rosemary's is essentially Meatpacking, but for the West Village. There's tons of action, yet it's way more tolerable.
As for the food? It's OK. It's safe and perfect for the kind of restaurant that this is - one that's more about hanging with friends and having some wine than anything else. The wine list is awesome and very well priced, and serving sizes are small, which fits the demo perfectly considering most of the clientele here have a 7am Soul Cycle class to be at in the morning. We'd recommend going heavy on the pastas and sampling an entree or two - that's where we found the best eats. But what impressed us the most at Rosemary's is the overall execution of the restaurant. They run a tight ship. The intimidating line to check in (they don't take reservations) and raucous bar area makes this place look like an absolute zoo, but things are kept nicely in order. You'll most likely be sitting at a table before your allotted wait time is up. Even if you don't, the bar area is vast and populated with hot people. Go make some new friends.
Being that they pride themselves on vegetation here at Rosemary's, it's no surprise that they lead off the menu with a section dedicated to the stuff they grow on the roof. We could have done without the Caponata and Sicilian Eggplant and Cabbages, Pecorino & Chilis - skip those. Instead, get the Radishes, Zucchini Crudo, and the Beets with Dandelion and Hazelnuts.
These things pair well with wine, this much we know. There's something for everyone on this list, just keep in mind that the serving sizes are really small, especially for the cheese. So make sure to over-order if your dinner is just wine and cheese.
A freshly baked plain focaccia bread with thyme, rosemary, and salt. We swallowed this in a hot minute.
Simple and well executed. The puffy, warm bread is topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. No complaints here. Definitely order one for the table.
We were generally unimpressed with the salads we sampled here. This one is a nice mix of greens, nuts, cheese, and tomatoes, but the dressing was crazy acidic and incredibly salty. If they fixed up the dressing, they'd be in business.
OK, this made no sense. They essentially threw every green that they grow on the roof into a bowl and called it a salad. Some of those leafy herbs aren't meant to be eaten as lettuce. Our waitress told us to get it since she picked the greens herself, but don't fall for the same trick. She's a terrible picker.
A totally serviceable, somewhat small bowl of homemade spaghetti. It's not going to compete with the best pastas in NYC, but it'll hit the spot after a few of glasses of wine.
An excellent fresh orecchiette with homemade sausage and broccoli rabe. This is absolutely delicious and should to be ordered. One of the best dishes we've had here.
Another winner, though this skirt steak can be a little bit salty. If salted medium rare steak in a vinegar sauce with fried potatoes sounds good to you, go for it.
This dish was a little sloppy and didn't look or taste like much. Our lamb was a overcooked and neither the sauce nor accompanying greens did much to enhance the meat.
Our sea bass was simply prepared and pretty damn delicious.