Chef Raymond Mikesell to Reopen Wild Rosemary

Tradition and family values are two big morals for the Pittsburgh community. From cookie tables to The Terrible Towel, we pass down traditions throughout generations to maintain a legacy. That’s why it’s big news that Chef Raymond Mikesell is reopening the widely known, city favorite Wild Rosemary, with a special focus around the family meal. 

Channelling the Family Dinner Atmosphere

To sit down at dinner and bond over a meal is a treat in itself. It’s something that Chef Raymond has integrated into his work since his beginnings at his previously owned restaurant, Cafe Raymond, in the Strip District. And, it’s something he hopes to continue at his newest establishment. 

“I did these kind of like family-style Sunday Suppers at Cafe Raymond about once a month and it really grew into something special,” says Chef Raymond when talking about his inspiration for Wild Rosemary. “You come in and, yes, you’re sitting next to people you don’t know at one big table, but there are so many people that left those dinners meeting new people that become really great friends for life. That’s what I want Wild Rosemary to be, and I think that’s part of what it was before too.”

Honoring a Legacy

Wild Rosemary was a small bistro located in Upper Saint Clair that could seat just over 10 people, and, every night, the place was packed with locals. After selling his restaurant, Cafe Raymond, Chef Raymond didn’t exactly want to retire but wanted to keep his operation small and community focused, making Wild Rosemary the perfect venue and legacy. 

“While I’m doing my own thing, I love the name Wild Rosemary, and it’s sort of my own tribute to what they did and the vibe that they created,” says Chef Raymond. “Food touches everybody, and so many of our most talked about memories involve it. So, we’re doing bench-style seating, and I want to squeeze you in there. I want you to sit right next to somebody and start a conversation. Then, the food will come out, and it’s going to bring it all together full circle.”

Tastes Just Like Home

The new seating arrangement will sit around 25 to 30 people, allowing for intermingling amongst guests and enough room for parties to rent out the restaurant all to themselves if they wish. While the atmosphere is certainly a selling point of Wild Rosemary, the menu will dive even deeper into the community, using fresh, local farm ingredients. 

“We’re going to do 90% of our cooking from scratch, but we hope to incorporate things like different proteins and bread from bakeries and farms around the city to fill in those gaps,” says Chef Raymond. “We’re so lucky to have so many amazing local outlets, and I plan on using them to the fullest. I shopped at Penn Mac [Pennsylvania Macaroni Company] before our last Sunday Supper and ended up walking out with short ribs, burrata, pasta, potatoes, peppers, sausages, swiss chard for soup, and ingredients for tiramisu because I kept finding so many amazing products.”

That Sunday Supper is a prime example of the type of food you’ll find Chef Raymond bringing to the dinner menu. Though, don’t expect the menu to stay the same all the time. He wants to make sure you have a variety of options to choose from so you never get bored and always have something new to try. Besides a family-style dinner menu, Wild Rosemary will also put together various lunch hours featuring sandwiches, salads, and soups all inspired by what’s in seasonal abundance. 

While no date is yet set for the reopening, you can keep an eye on the Wild Rosemary Instagram for updates personally from Chef Raymond. Though, in the meantime, we can keep dreaming of his succulent slow-braised short ribs and look forward to connecting our community all around us.

Story by Kylie Thomas

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