Former Top Chef champion Joe Flamm has revealed the name of his hotly anticipated Fulton Market restaurant while providing a new opening timeframe. Flamm, a Chicago native who last cooked Italian food overlooking the Mag Mile under the guidance of legendary chef Tony Mantuano at Spiaggia, plans to open Rose Mary early next year at 936 W. Fulton Market.
The menu is Croatian-Italian with noodles, grilled fish, and a take on a Chicago street food favorite: cevapcici. Flamm says he plans to offer the Balkan-style sausages as sandwiches at the bar. Flamm describes the restaurant’s menu as “Adriatic drinking food.” This is the type of food found at bars and restaurants at the sides of the road in Europe. It’s not supposed be stuffy. It’s casual and fun. The wine list will feature familiar Italian producers alongside lesser known selections from smaller European winemakers.
When Flamm announced the restaurant in September 2019, he targeted a summer opening. He partnered with the owners of BLVD, a luxurious Fulton Market restaurant that opened in 2017. But the pandemic stalled those plans. He tells the Tribune that an early 2021 opening maybe optimistic, but he’s hopeful.
Flamm also gave away a few more details: The restaurant will focus on pasta and risotto. There’s also a custom hearth built by Bridgeport metal fabricators Wayward Machine. They’ve done work for El Che Steakhouse & Bar, Beatrix, and Pleasant House Pub.
Rose Mary was among the most anticipated openings of 2020 in Chicago (nine of those 14 haven’t opened due to delays brought on by COVID-19). Flamm’s wife, Hillary, is Croatian, and they’ve traveled to the country. The restaurant’s name leads to a few references. Flamm was close to his paternal grandmother, the late Mary Rose. Meanwhile, he credits his maternal grandmother, Mary, in establishing a love for Italian food. The herb is welcoming sign of good luck at weddings. It also grows along the Italian and Croatian coastlines.
Rose Mary, 912 W. Fulton Market, planned for an early 2021 opening.