Restaurant Review: Rose Mary

Fulton Market in the West Loop is home to the recently opened Rose Mary, located at 932 West Fulton Market. This debut eatery from Top Chef winner and Chicago local Joe Flamm blends Italian and Croatian cuisine into what the Chef termed Adriatic drinking food. 

What exactly is Adriatic drinking food, you might ask? Imagine making your way along the stunning coastline of Italy and Croatia, stopping at taverns to enjoy the rustic yet elegant dishes inspired by the two countries as you leisurely make your way, with full bellies, to the next postcard-worthy spot. It’s the food you would imagine you’d be dining on if you were to star in an uber-cool Oscar-nominated Italian film. In other words, delicious.

The menu at Rose Mary is like a warm introduction leading to what will surely be a memorable night. Grilled radishes with whitefish roe, zucchini fritters, prosciutto, and pinzimonio salad are just a few starters that are a sure bet to satisfy the taste buds. 

Pasta is well represented at Rose Mary. The tortellini djuvec features red pepper, eggplant, preserved zucchini, Parmigiano, and pine nuts is a testament to the Italian cooking techniques utilized by Chef Flamm. Classics like gnocchi and rigatoni are sure to be favorites. Simultaneously, the lamb ragu mafaldine Abruzzi and tagliatelle featuring duck sausage and chili flake are a welcome addition beyond the norm when we think of getting Italian for dinner. 

Other highlights on the menu at Rose Mary include the grilled chicken wings served with Calabrian chile-basil vinaigrette, the succulent lamb shoulder, and the pork ribs pampanella on the meat side of the menu. Fish fans will be excited to try the grilled clams with smoked ramp butter, the delectable tuna crudo featuring capers, shallot-beef fat vinaigrette, and veal aioli, and the baby octopus done peka style with garlic, potatoes, and peppers.

After such a robust meal, it’s only fitting to end it on a sweet note. Rose Mary offers tasty gelatos in strawberry vanilla, pistachio honey, or chocolate stracciatella flavors. A particular sweet standout on the menu is the fritules. These tiny donuts are accented with black walnut citrus and roasted stone fruit curd that will have you asking for a baker’s dozen before you leave. 

Chef Joe Flamm came to national prominence as the winner of season 15 of Top Chef in 2018. Before that, Flamm studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago and then honed his skills at Table 52, Girl and the Goat, and Belly Q. Flamm was also the executive chef at Spiaggia on Michigan Avenue. 

The name Rose Mary stems from Flamm’s two grandmothers and rosemary itself, which is local to the coastlines of Italy and Croatia. The menu offered at this Fulton Market spot is a love letter to the food and drink Flamm grew up with and continues to inspire this talented Chicago chef.


Rose Mary is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm.