Raising level of veggie freshness with roof garden

Rosemary’s signature heirloom tomato salad is made with fresh ingredients from upstairs.

Rosemary’s signature heirloom tomato salad is made with fresh ingredients from upstairs.

Photos by Bob Krasner Wade Moises enjoys getting away from the hectic kitchen of Rosemary’s and tending the restaurant’s rooftop garden.

Photos by Bob Krasner
Wade Moises enjoys getting away from the hectic kitchen of Rosemary’s and tending the restaurant’s rooftop garden.

BY BOB KRASNER  | Grow your own? On a Manhattan rooftop? If we are talking about arugula, parsley, sage, lettuce, fennel, kale and other assorted greens and vegetables, go right ahead. And if you happen to have a restaurant right downstairs, all the better.

Rosemary’s, the “rustic Italian” restaurant at the corner of Greenwich Ave. and W. 10th St., not only grows all of the above on the roof above, but actually makes good use of it as well.

The clientele of the 74-seat eatery are welcome to take a trip up to the roof where there is a chance that they will see chef Wade Moises, the creator of the entire menu, tending to the garden.

Admitting that his kitchen is “almost more crazy” than a lot of the places that he has worked, he enjoys spending some quality time harvesting the crops.

“Sometimes it’s nice to spend an hour or two” in the garden, he said. “You’re still working, but it’s different — you’re out of the neon lights.”

“It’s a big challenge running both a garden and a kitchen,” he said. He added that he’s “learning more every day” about producing vegetables in quantity.

Although it’s not a large garden, it’s productive.

“We never need to buy basil,” he noted.

And when they are producing lots of greens you’ll find them in Rosemary’s trademark heirloom tomato salad, which is created with Moises’ favorite tomatoes, which he personally selects from the farmers’ market. (Full disclosure:  We tried the salad. It was delicious).

The garden was the idea of owner Carlos Suarez, who also owns BOBO, who was lucky enough to find a building that was only one story high and amenable to his needs. It’s location in the Village is perfect for the chef.

“This area is a culinary hub,” he said. “It doesn’t get much better than this. Also, it feels like a real neighborhood.”

Moises especially loves having the kids in from nearby P.S. 41, who might spend an afternoon learning how to make focaccia and getting a real-life education on how a restaurant works.

John Mutovic, Rosemary’s service director, agreed that the establishment is community oriented.

“It’s a family area and we treat the restaurant like a family — like an extension of home,” he said.

Local parents bring their children in all week, and Mutovic said he looks forward to watching them grow.

Rosemary’s, he declared, is “a perfect fit for the neighborhood.”

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2 Responses to Raising level of veggie freshness with roof garden

  1. Awesome blog post! I really enjoyed reading this content, your now discussing the very essential topic here.

  2. Roof gardening rocks big time! What a great way to utilize otherwise wasted space! Not only do they produce food, but the plants gobble up CO2 and create oxygen too. I helped install a drip irrigation system on a rooftop garden in Chicago last year. That was a lot of fun! Vertical gardening on walls is also taking off big time in the cities now too. Great article on an exciting new way to grow food!

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