Rosie’s Tavola joined the Mount Joy restaurant scene in June 2016. Located along Main Street, Rosie’s has a warm, relaxed vibe and a taste-tempting menu.
Rosie’s is owned by Bob and Rose Linkens. Bob has worked in food service for over 40 years. His resumé includes restaurants in New York and Colorado, as well as such local dining destinations as The Restaurant at Doneckers and Portofino. Most recently, he was the chef at Linden Hall. Rose, who is an internationally board-certified esthetician, is no stranger to the business world, as she has owned Restoration Spa in downtown Lancaster since 2002. “We’ve wanted our own restaurant and finally found the right fit with Rosie’s,” says Rose.
Rosie’s is obviously named for Rose, and Bob explains that “tavola” is Italian for “table”. “Our motto is ‘come to our table and eat.’ We want to invite people to the table to enjoy what we have to offer,” he says. “Come as you are and eat good food,” Rose adds.
The couple worked with contractors to transform the building that was formerly home to Pub Dunegal, but they readily admit that a lot of “sweat equity” was devoted to the project, as well. The bar’s countertop is but one example. Rose takes credit for its unique design that features thin glass tiles and a glass-like surface. “I wanted something that looked a bit modern and different, but that was also easy to maintain,” she explains.
Rosie’s seats 28 in the dining area, 68 in the bar and 42 on the patio. The couple is entertaining ideas of enclosing the patio in the future in order to create a three-season room.
Helping people relax is Rose’s forté, and the restaurant is a reflection of that philosophy. “A lot of what we offer is atmosphere. It’s warm, cozy and casual – the same feel you have when dining in New York or Philly’s Little Italy,” Rose explains.
Both the dining and bar areas feature tile floors and wood tables and chairs. There are also a few hi-tops in the bar area, which features exposed beams and painted wainscoting; the paint color carries over to the old-fashioned radiators.
The menu features a number of traditional and family recipes. Bob describes it as heavy Italian with an eclectic global twist. He explains that Rose’s family heritage is Italian, and although his is German and French, he grew up in an Italian neighborhood in New York. “I picked up recipes from the neighborhood – watching the Italian grandmas, aunts and moms cook,” he says with a smile. Rose, who is a native of Pittsburgh, adds that when she hears the word “Italian” in culinary terms, she thinks of the traditional dishes and recipes that are found in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sauces, soups, select pasta and some desserts are made in-house. Although the bulk of the menu remains stable, there are some seasonal change-ups that allow the kitchen to take advantage of fresh, local (within a 100-mile radius) ingredients. For example, the winter menu features comfort foods and what Bob calls “belly fillers.”
Two soups are always on the menu – homemade tomato bisque and chicken and escarole. Daily soup specials are also offered. In addition to appetizers – such as antipasto (including a vegetarian version), charcuterie and tapenade – and a variety of salads, there are also pasta options: create-your-own pasta, lasagna, vegetable lasagna, penne carbonara, gnocchi a la vodka, and linguini and clams. Chicken, veal, pork, seafood and beef dishes are well represented on the menu. Vegetarian and gluten-free menu items are also available. The lunch menu features sandwiches such as Italian braised pork (think pulled pork) and meatball and cheese. Chef’s specials are available at both lunch and dinner.
Desserts include house-made cannoli with a choice of fillings (traditional rum cream, vanilla cream with dried fruit, and chocolate cream), crème brulée and tiramisu that’s made using Chef Bob’s secret recipe. A rotating wine list focuses on varietals that pair well with the food. Specialty cocktails and a selection of beer are also available.
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and the couple promises that a number of specials and some mouth-watering chocolate desserts will be available from February 10 through February 18.
Rosie’s Tavola also participates in Mount Joy’s Fourth Friday activities, and February’s dates – 24th (5-8 p.m.) and 25th (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) – will once again entail a double theme of Death By Chocolate and Wine Walk. Bob plans to have some decadent chocolate creations on the menu that weekend. Tickets for the town-wide tasting event can be purchased through Main Street Mount Joy; call 653-4227 or visit mainstreetmountjoy.com.
Rosie’s Tavola, 114 East Main Street, Mount Joy. Hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.); and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.) Reservations suggested for weekend dining. Private parties can be accommodated. Take-outs available. Off-site catering available. Call 928-4083 or visit rosiestavola.com and Facebook.