The long wait for the opening of the latest Barone family restaurant, in Perrysburg, is finally over. After delays from situations beyond the control of the restaurateurs, Rosario’s on 3rd Street in Perrysburg touts the experience as “coastal Italian dining”. “We saw this opportunity become available in downtown Perrysburg and decided that a dining experience, with the best parts of Rosie’s, our original upscale eatery, and more small plates and seafood options, would work well here,” explains Phil Barone, proprietor, adding, “and we have had a great welcome from the public for Rosaria’s.”

The venue captures the essence of the Amalfi coast — a dining room with warm wood tones, inviting lighting, friendly and welcoming, open and airy. The walls are accented by black and white photos depicting movie stars and other celebrities enjoying pasta and Italian treats. A colorized picture of Rosie, the company’s namesake and Phil Barone’s late mother, hangs above the grand piano, which is played on select nights.

Highlighted by fresh fish selections, the menu offers several preparations for the fish along with Italian specialties and some familiar recipes from Rosario’s sister restaurant, Rosie’s. The dining room has a fireplace which adds to the warmth and ambiance and doors separating the dining room from the bar area can be closed. The bar, a large boat-shaped custom wood creation, is surrounded by tables and booths adjacent to a four seasons patio. The bar’s unique look, using complimenting workmanship in wood tones with wines stored behind glass walls, separating the bar area from the dining room. The wine selection is varied including standards and finer bottles amid a large selection of wines, including pricier bottles, offered by the glass.

Thanks to an Italian system which controls the pour and then maintains the open bottle to keep the wine from aging, the wines, including the finer varieties, remain fresh and can keep for weeks once opened. Beer selections are both local and regional and the water served in-house is purified with a Purezza water filtration system.

Fish-ful Thinking

The offered fish selections when we visited included salmon, grouper, halibut and swordfish. The fish is flown in fresh from Florida several times a week and can be prepared in a variety of ways including simply grilled, cajun key west, bruschetta, seminole and wasabi encrusted. Pasta favorites including ravioli with pesto and pizzas, Rosie’s signature since the Barone family opened the first Rosie’s 40 years ago, are on the menu.

The wait staff was pleasant and accommodating during our visits but this newly opened restaurant will soon work out the hiccups that often come with the opening of a new dining establishment.

Our dining party, a group of six, started with shared appetizers of calamari and smoked fish dip. We then placed orders for the mushroom ravioli with pesto sauce, a square pan pizza, wasabi encrusted grouper, a freshly house-made stromboli along with linguini with marinara and chicken as well as a tuna nicoise salad. The comments concerning the food ranged from excellent to above average and most of the issues came from timing on service of the meals from the kitchen. Again, this is something that will undoubtedly be worked out as the staff gains more experience and is more accustomed to working together. The sister restaurant, Rosie’s on McCord and Nebraska in Toledo, has certainly demonstrated that the Barone family are experienced restaurateurs.

Delicious Endings

Chef Chad is putting together beautiful and tasty desserts including Panna cotta, a real treat, along with cannoli, key lime pie, and a variety of gelatos. The gelato is available from a separate location within the restaurant, so those strolling on Louisiana Avenue in downtown Perrysburg can enjoy a cup or a cone to go. Rosario’s is a well thought out
concept and fits nicely in with other dining options in downtown Perrysburg. Their extensive wine list and the ability to taste a variety of wines without ordering an entire bottle is a plus. As well, their fresh fish is unique in Northwest Ohio both in variety as well as preparation options. The future is bright for this coastal Italian restaurant and we look forward to visiting again soon.