Visiting Grandma In The Hometown of Derry
by Karen Fetter
Everyone says that visiting Rosemary’s Country Kitchen in New Derry is like going to visit your grandma. The warmth and welcoming atmosphere keep
customers coming back, but the popularity of the place has a lot to do with Rosemary’s exceptional, wood-fired pizza. Unlike any other!
Rosemary Connor is as authentic a chef as anyone could be. She makes everything from scratch, from homemade dough and sauce to breads and canned goods. This is how her original wood-fired creations have delighted the palates of customers from far and wide.
Visit Rosemary’s Country Kitchen soon at 324 Pittsburgh Street, New Derry
Days of operation are Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Call 724-694-2560 to place your order!
It Began with Friday Night Pizza Parties
What started out as a weekly Friday night get-together has turned into a hot spot for locals and beyond.
“I would make pizza for my three children and their children on Friday nights. Next thing I knew their friends were coming and we would have more than 40 people. That is when someone said I should open my own place,” said Rosemary.
The 62-year-old Derry native took some time to think about it, but with encouragement from her husband and family Rosemary Connor decided to open up her rustic country log home to serve pizza to the public. She added on a commercial size kitchen and took courses to receive her license to be a small business.
The doors opened in 2010 and Rosemary has never looked back. While 90 percent of the business is take-out, there are still many people who enjoy eating there. As a result, Rosemary added a pavilion in the backyard with a big screen television so people can talk and eat their pizza. She can accommodate birthday parties or any other special function.
Small Town Hospitality and Great Food
“You feel like you are in a small town when you are here. People mingle and I like to walk around and talk with everyone. I want people to enjoy their pizza and feel like they were just at their grandma’s for dinner,” said Rosemary. “People hug me and keep coming back.”
Rosemary has seen customers from all over Westmoreland County, not just from her local community. However, Rosemary has no plans on ever relocating or growing in size because she loves her small town and the atmosphere that she can create by having the business out of her own home. That is also the reason she has never advertised. All of her business has come from word-of-mouth and the word has been that this pizza can’t be missed.
100 Year Old Recipes and a Great Menu
The wood-fired pizza is light and not greasy. It is made with fresh dough, homemade sauce, and the finest of cheeses. Rosemary has 11 different varieties that are sure to not disappoint anyone. The traditional pizza is of course with sauce and cheese and any topping of your choice. Rosemary would then recommend one of her favorites, the Depression pizza. This particular pizza holds a special place to Rosemary because the recipe came from her grandmother and she remembers eating it when she was a little girl. It is similar to the taste of a white pizza, but it is topped with seasoned tomatoes, spices, and no cheese!
“These recipes I have been using are a 100 years old. My Italian grandmother used them and then my mother and now me. You can’t replace this recipe,” said Rosemary.
Another crowd pleaser is the Pepperonata. Rosemary was inspired to create this pizza after eating green peppers topped with asiago cheese. She worked with the combinations for a while to create this particular pizza that always pleases. It includes sweet roasted red peppers, banana peppers, green peppers, (all of which Rosemary cans herself), a special garlic sauce, and herb mix, and a wonderful blend of three cheeses.
Other pizzas on the menu include a steak and cheese, white pizza, pierogi pizza, and a grilled chicken pizza. The Florentine pizza has a white sauce, three cheeses, spinach and assorted spices. Also, the Diablo is a hot and spicy pizza that is made with her own special barbeque hot peppers and special sauce. It is then topped with Italian Capicola. If you like it hot, then this is the pizza for you!
Pizza is not the only item on the menu. Rosemary also creates a variety of Stromboli that includes steak and cheese, pepperoni and cheese, ham and cheese, meatball, and sausage. She also makes grinders that come in six inch and 12 inch sizes. These include Italian, steak and cheese, meatball, Italian sausage, turkey, and ham.
Because Rosemary makes everything from scratch, her salads and salad dressings have also become quite popular! She gets asked all the time to bottle it and sell it. She said to just ask and she can give you extra.
Don’t Miss the Season for Wood-Fired Pizza
The popularity of the pizza has caused Rosemary to add another wood-fired oven two years ago. This oven actually came from Italy and can cook a pizza in 3 minutes! The only downside of using the wood-fired oven is that good weather is needed. Therefore, the season for pizza begins the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day in March and ends November 1. However, customers will not be left without authentic, homemade cooking from Rosemary.
She will begin Fall 2013 to offer take-out dinners. She will offer an American meal and an Italian meal that can be picked up and eaten at home. She also provides catering for parties and Christmas events.
Take a moment this summer and visit Rosemary’s Country Kitchen at 324 Pittsburgh Street, New Derry with your family and friends so you can enjoy this amazing wood-fired pizza.
Days of operation are Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Call 724-694-2560 to place your order today!