After more than a week of eating granola-esque meals at a yoga retreat, I debated having a lunch that would keep me in that healthy-eating mindset.
I changed my mind.
For a week I ate no pasta, no bread and no dairy, which meant no cheese. So, the only thing for me to do was to go Italian. I stopped for lunch at and was not disappointed with my choice.
I visited Rosebud once before and that was at the old location. I wanted to try the new location and its menu.
The interior of the restaurant is nice and spacious and the air conditioning was in full force on the day I visited. Couples and larger parties seemed to be happily enjoying lunch.
Since it was a nice sunny afternoon, I chose to eat outside. The table offered me the chance to people watch and let me attempt to fantasize that I was actually dining at a café in Italy, rather than in Naperville. The bugs stayed away and the sun was warm and bright. It was perfect.
I remembered at the old location they offered a hearty risotto, but then they changed things up. Though there is no risotto on the new menu, I didn’t mind.
My waiter was very attentive without being overly annoying. He was helpful when it came to choosing a meal and was able to answer questions.
He brought me a basket of fresh bread to go with my olive oil and Parmesan cheese. I was happy I didn’t have to share because another item I didn’t get to eat at the yoga retreat was bread. And, this stuff was wonderful, fresh and warm.
Along with the bread, I started with a cup of pasta fagioli ($3.25), which was slightly different than what mom used to make. My mother would usually put chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in her soup, but this soup used a white bean, a cannellini. It also had bacon bits mixed in. The soup was good and hearty without being heavy.
I wasn’t sure what to order for my main meal and the waiter helped me decide. I was torn between the eggplant Parmesan and the cavatelli alla Rosebud ($13.75). He said I should choose the cavatelli over the eggplant because it offered a more diverse meal, with the ricotta dumplings, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and green beans.
The dumplings were incredible, not large and overly bulky, and all of the veggies were fresh. The mushrooms tasted incredible and I was worried I might eat them all, leaving none in my leftovers. Because I made sure I had some leftovers. The green beans were obviously fresh and not overcooked — they were a bright green. I wasn’t sure I’d like green beans in my pasta, but they added a nice mix and didn’t overpower the flavor.
Rather than a red sauce, the cavatelli was in garlic and olive oil, which I prefer to sauce. As people walked past me while I enjoyed my lunch, all I could think was: “You don’t know what you are missing.”
When I was done with my pasta, I didn’t feel overly heavy from the meal, though it might seem that dumplings would be dense and filling. I felt satisfied without feeling stuffed.
I wanted to be sure to leave room for dessert.
Let’s just say I took one for the team, because I think I ordered the most calorie-laden item on the menu. I wasn’t going to choose tiramisu because that is so done. I never liked it much to begin with and it seems so 1990s to me. I dallied with the idea of choosing the chocolate cake, (too rich) and the sorbet, which would be light and refreshing, but there really is no fun in that, is there? Instead I went for the Rosebud “bomboloni” ($6.95).
The bomboloni are little donut holes. Or, should I say, bombs of dough that will go straight to the thighs and butt.
Bomboloni are kind of like and Italian version of paczki. My waiter brought me 6 of these little guys, freshly made. They were rolled in sugar and powdered sugar and came with three dipping sauces, one a lemon cream, a raspberry and a Fra Angelico chocolate sauce. The donut holes had a lemon flavor to them and were light and not greasy at all. Of the three sauces, I liked the raspberry and chocolate the most. I didn’t like the lemon sauce.
Needless to say I couldn’t eat all of those little bomboloni, so I brought them home and they were still tasty and fresh a day later. (I had to get them out of my house and now I know I will be doing yoga and running more to keep them off me!)
This was not a cheap lunch, but I didn’t feel cheated or that I paid too much. The price was right and the food was made with care. I have some leftovers and I noticed most people leaving the restaurant had bags with them, either because they were taking more food to go or because they had generous leftovers.
This is a great place to enjoy with friends, to celebrate or enjoy a night out with a significant other. Or, to treat yourself to a quiet meal where you can pretend you are dining in Florence, rather than Naperville.
Rosebud is located at 22 E. Chicago. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Readers, here is your opportunity to enjoy a meal, some conversation and share your thoughts on the food. Have a Meal with Mary, that is me, Mary Ann Lopez. We will dine out at a restaurant in Naperville. We will talk and share our thoughts on the food and those critiques will appear in a future restaurant review. If you are interested in dining on my dime, then contact me at email@example.com.