Joe Flamm — the South Side Chicago native known for this tenure at Spiaggia and his 2018 win on season 15 of Top Chef — has an opening day announcement. Flamm, a huge Chicago White Sox fan, is marking April 20 as when he’ll finally unveil his first restaurant. Rose Mary will continue to showcase Flamm’s mastery of Italian food with plenty of Croatian influences
The restaurant, inside a new building in Fulton Market, is from Flamm and the owners of BLVD Steakhouse (the first restaurant from Sancerre Hospitality). The team announced the project in late 2019 and hoped to open in 2020, though the pandemic shifted those plans. But as vaccination rollout continues to expand, ownership has grown confident enough to open reservations starting on Tuesday, March 30 via OpenTable.
Flamm oversaw Spiaggia before he departed in August 2019 to pursue his first restaurant. While at Spiaggia, he developed a bond with Tony Mantuano. Mantuano, one of Chicago’s most respected chefs — one who propelled Spiaggia to Michelin-starred heights and cooked for President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden, left the city in December 2019 to move to Nashville where he’s since opened a restaurant.
At Rose Mary, Flamm will use what his mentor taught him about Italian food and bring in Croatian influences inspired by the heritage of his wife, Hillary Delich. Marketing is rolling with the phrase “Adriatic drinking food” to describe the menu. Selections include roasted clams with ramp butter and breadcrumbs, pork ribs Pampanella (Calabrian chili glaze and yogurt-based slaw made from cabbage, radicchio, and pickles); Spinach Caramelle stuffed with parmesan fundido and topped with brown butter and truffle; and whole branzino with a fennel paprika sauce.
The restaurant has also rounded out its staff including former Avec/Blackbird host Liz VanLeuwen as general manager, Sarah Traynor (Brass Heart) as wine director, and Hillary Grossman (Quiote) as pastry chef.
Rose Mary is one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year. Chicagoans have a few short weeks to finally see what Flamm has been working on.