- Story by Tony Chahal / Photos by Rosewood Kitchen
Blooming with flavor, Rosewood Kitchen blends Spanish, French, Italian and Mexican-inspired cuisine.
Locals have been welcoming to the multicultural culinary experience for the senses that is Rosewood Kitchen.
“They enjoy the ambience and the coziness that we provide,” says Joshua Ramirez sitting relaxed in his new restaurant at 608 Mission Ave. in Downtown Oceanside. “When you combine the quality of food and what the chef does back there in the kitchen, it’s magic.”
Chef and co-owner Antonio Tarantino, from Palermo, Sicily, started cooking with his mother as a child. By the age of 9, he knew the basics.
“My mother would try to kick me out of the kitchen but I wouldn’t go,” he said.
After school, Tarantino moved to London, and apprenticed under a classically trained Venetian chef who taught him the art of French cuisine.
“I was fascinated by cooking, and he would show me all these wonderful French sauces.” Tarantino said.
Ramirez has traveled extensively.
“My parents are from Sonora, Mexico, and I was born in Japan,” he said. Ramirez lived on the East Coast as a child before moving to Kailua, Hawaii, and finally settling in Vista in his teen years.
“But Vista and North County is where my heart’s at,” Ramirez said. Ramirez’s wife is from Brittany, France, and lived in Madrid throughout her youth. All of these different parts of the world are what influence and inspire the menu at Rosewood, Ramirez said.
Ramirez was returning from studying international business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when he met Tarantino and found they shared the same passion for food, art and music, he said. Together, they picked Oceanside for the restaurant location.
“I like Oceanside because it has more of a real community feel,” Tarantino said.
Self-described as local, sustainable and organic, Rosewood sources food from local farms and incorporates local art. The rose sculptures lining the wall were made by Oceanside artist Nicholas Auen, a childhood friend.
The menu is representative of the cosmopolitan background of the owners. Tagliatelle Carbonara with Guanciale bacon sits alongside Gindara Black Cod Al Pastor Tacos and Pineapple Habanero Arrachera Neapolitan pizza. “The flour is imported from Italy, and the dough is made with mineral water,” Tarantino said.
When pressed for the secret to great cooking he smiles and is quick to answer: “When making food you need a woman’s touch, light and delicate.”
The name Rosewood implies fine and elegant in a casual and inviting setting, Ramirez says. Capable of serving “an aristocrat from France or a chollo from Vista, this is a place for everyone.”
Rosewood Kitchen is open 4-10 p.m. Mondays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. View the menu at Rosewoodkitchen.co.