606 N. McCord Rd. Toledo
The Short Course
To avoid wait: Reservations are best on the weekend
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: No changing station
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes—white and chocolate…just ask
Kids’ menu? Yes
Allergies? Alert your server of allergies immediately so the proper steps can be taken in the kitchen to avoid cross contamination. Gluten free items are noted on the menu.
In the lyrics of Alice Cooper: “School’s out for summer! No more pencils, no more books!” Oh how summer break never seems to come soon enough, nor does it ever last long enough. To commence the joyous occasion and celebration of another successful school year for all three kids, I decided to treat us to Rosie’s Italian Grille. Now THAT’S Italian!
Tradition runs deep
To answer a question many of you are asking, yes, Rosie really exists. She was married to the late John Joseph Barone. According to general manager and chef Eric Kish, the family business first began as a deli some 34 plus years ago. From there it grew to a pizza place and then additional locations. At some point, three of Rosie’s sons, Phil, Mike and John decided to keep the traditional family recipes alive, took things up a notch, closed the causal locations and then opened Rosie’s Italian Grille; an upscale restaurant with a delectable menu.
I have fond memories of Rosie’s half price pizza night when I was growing up. It was a far cry from “fast food” pizza. Their traditional pizza on the menu brought back countless memories when my oldest son ordered one for dinner. I was pleased they haven’t broken with tradition. Many of their recipes to this day are made exactly how Rose Barone had made them.
Classy yet comfortable
You will love the Tuscan theme atmosphere the moment you step inside Rosie’s. Pretend just a little bit, and you may actually feel you have been transcended to a place far away from Toledo. You will most certainly feel you are somewhere else as you enjoy time on their inviting and spacious outdoor patios. “People love our patios. Our patios are very popular”, noted Kish. (I love them too.) They also offer a four season patio which is especially nice when Toledo weather is not cooperating.
Rosie’s offers a beautiful bar at the entrance, as well as a comfortable waiting area. On weekends, however, reservations are best. We were seated in a semi private booth off the main dining area. Though my kids are older these days, the three of them together can still make a bit of noise when they get going. So I enjoyed having a table slightly removed from the main dining area. It may be a request worth making if you are concerned your little ones might be distracting to others.
Several children, along with a few babies, were enjoying dinner out with their families. If you worry your children may not be all about the “fancier” restaurant, you may also consider a table on the patio or of course, enjoy an evening sans children.
Think seafood and lamb chops?
Of course you’re going to find all the pasta favorites at Rosie’s. However, according to Chef Kish, people flock to Rosie’s for so much more than the pasta. “Definitely our grilled lamb chops are very popular,” said Kish, who added that the fresh seafood flown in regularly from Key West is a favorite of many. Perhaps grouper, swordfish, shrimp or salmon sounds more appealing than red sauce and pasta. They have it all.
I enjoyed the best of both worlds with their evening special of mushroom pasta topped with strip steak. It was a scrumptious treat for the palate. The kids’ menu offers many options for $7 and drink is extra. Milk isn’t on the menu, but simply ask your server for white or chocolate and they’ll be happy to accommodate your little one.
The kids’ menu offers traditional favorites such as pizza, lasagna, ravioli etc., but for the less adventurous, the old standby of chicken chunks and fries is available. My youngest enjoyed baked rigatoni from the kids menu, and my daughter couldn’t pass up fettucine Alfredo.
Rosie’s Italian Grille won’t disappoint if you have memories of the original Rosie’s pizza from long ago. However, the upscale Italian grille will entice all your senses, and the food is outstanding not to mention attentive service. Though your children are more than welcome, you may relish a relaxing date night or enjoy one of the best happy hours in town with your girlfriends.
Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o