How Rosie’s Became Amagansett’s Go-to Neighborhood Spot

by Eddie Roche

One of the greatest additions to Amagansett in recent years is the restaurant Rosie’s, which has become a local favorite and offers something for everyone on the menu. The Daily Summer checks in with owner Christina Isaly, who tells us why she knew she had to open doors, what’s hot, and answers the burning question: Who’s Rosie?

What was the concept for Rosie’s when you first started the business?
When I rolled into town for the first time 12 years ago, I noticed there wasn’t an ice cream shop. Ice cream is always on my radar because my grandfather and his brothers ran a dairy company in Ohio many years ago. I quietly said to myself, one day I’ll open a place that serves ice cream in Amagansett! It will be seasonal food–focused with great coffee in a beautiful environment with counter and table service.

Has that premise evolved?
A lot. After much consideration, I realized Amagansett also needed a new type of place to eat, drink, and gather. So while ice cream is on the dessert menu, we are a full-service farm-to-table restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Why did you pick Amagansett as a location?
I love its understated presence. Anyone destined for Montauk might not even realize they are passing through town, and others only make it as far as East Hampton. But we have a charming hamlet here, perfect for those who appreciate the Hamptons and what it offers—beautiful beaches, boutique shopping, and a rooted community.

We understand you cater to picky eaters and foodies! Tell us a little more about how you achieve that.
Our menu is versatile; we have a grown-up grilled cheese and a killer burger, but also seasonal seafood and entrées for more adventurous eaters. Same goes for our bar; we serve a classic margarita and our own twist on a Manhattan, and we curate a rotating list of craft beers and natural wines.

What makes Rosie’s unique?
I like to think of Rosie’s as an extension of my own home. We make every guest feel welcome, and we care about the details…décor, food presentation, music, and flowers.… The list is endless. We also pride ourselves on being farm-forward. We value the best farming practices—from soil quality to sustainable packaging—and we source our ingredients from as many local purveyors as we can. It’s all about community.

Your indoor dining room has obviously been closed for most of the summer. How are customers able to still get their Rosie’s fix?
As soon as we realized that we wouldn’t be able to seat guests indoors this summer, we quickly pivoted to develop an outdoor garden terrace with appropriately distanced tables, where guests can dine in and have a “normal” restaurant experience. We also serve coffee, pastries, and take-out directly from our front windows.

Is there an actual Rosie? Who’s Rosie?
Rosalee, or Rosie, was my mom. She passed away two years ago as this idea was coming to fruition, so I thought it fitting to name the place after her.

What are some interesting ways you cater events?
Working with the client, we recently catered an event that challenged us to come up with new ways to serve food in these crazy times. We put together beautiful picnic baskets with all the menu items in Ball jars, individually portioned to reduce unnecessary contact and allow the guests to gather safely.

What’s the most popular dish on the menu?
It’s a tie between the breakfast burrito or chicken schnitzel BLT.

The décor of the restaurant is really cool. Who designed it?
Elena Frampton of Frampton and Co.

Do you have any plans to open another location in the Hamptons?
It’s always a possibility!

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