Jim Lancaster, owner of the former Vino Rosina and Oliver Speck’s restaurants, is turning his attention back to one of his most enduring enterprises—Rosina Gourmet—with a new outlet opening today in Fells Point at 1300 Thames Street.
Lancaster’s high-end sandwich shop, which is named for his now 84-year-old mother, got its start in 1999 in Canton on O’Donnell Street and also has a downtown location on Lombard Street.
The new location, he says, will fill a culinary void in the neighborhood.
“There’s nothing quite like it in Fells,” says Lancaster. “We have stores close by, but it’s its own market. People who work in the middle business district downtown aren’t leaving their parking garages to come to Harbor Point.”
Rosina Gourmet features local ingredients provided by micro vendors, which highlights Lancaster’s dedication to providing top-quality cuisine.
“We can pay the same amount for a flat of tomatoes from Georgia and Florida or from a farmer in Maryland,” says Lancaster. “We can’t do everything local—we don’t make olive oil here—but we source what we can.”
The new location has the same menu as the other outlets.
“We have a pretty set menu,” says Lancaster. “We don’t want to re-invent ourselves. It’s a brand.”
That being said, the menu is full of seasonal sandwich offerings. One highlight is the California chicken sandwich, comprised of marinated roasted chicken, avocado, thick-cut bacon, Maryland tomatoes and sprouts, and buttermilk dressing.
Another favorite is the zucchini Parmesan, prepared with provolone and house-made tomato sauce, which wins on two fronts—utilizing fresh, local ingredients and appealing to vegetarians and those who want a light, summery menu option.
Rosina Gourmet is a solo venture, while Lancaster’s two previous ventures, Vino Rosina and Oliver Speck’s were opened in conjunction with Top Chef contestant Jesse Sandlin.
The restaurant has a soft-opening at the top of this week, with a full opening next week.