Herb & Wood

Has anyone been to Herb & Wood yet. It’s the new Brian Malarky place in LI just down the street from J&I

It’s not named for a fabric, their current website provides NO information and he’s considering it a “fresh start”.

Scroll down for the menu

Menu looks actually not that bad (but haven’t been yet) and not the standard asian-influenced california-style of his other restaurants (perhaps there are some contractual issues if he stays too close to the restaurants which are under the corporate umbrella vs this independent restaurant).
Interesting that there are now three restaurants within one block that have menus taking references from all over the world

We were walking by yesterday (Saturday) afternoon around 5:00 so went in to check it out. Huge, airy, lots of light, pretty space. Bar was technically open but the place was empty. Looked at the menu, lots of things sounded great so we went back around 8:30 thinking we’d have dinner, place was dark, packed with bleached blondes in pointy heels and razor-cut dudes with shirttails out, and they were blasting loud music. From that scene I’d have had no clue the place served interesting food, it felt like a bar for some alien demographic.

Maybe it’s more dining-centric at 5:30 on a weeknight?

Naw…typical Malarky place

The vegetable section of the menu has a bunch of things I’d really like to try. This isn’t exactly what they had yesterday, but close:

Grilled Eggplant, Mojo De Ajo & Basil Salsa Verdi, Tahini … 9.98 Grilled King Trumpets & Tarragon Butter ................................................................................. 8.67
Sautéed Fennel, Orange Vinaigrette, Fine Herbs & Fennel Pollen … 8.96 Crispy Potato, Lemon Vinaigrette, Black Pepper, Fresh Horseradish & Parmesan.............. 9.19
Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic, Parsley Vinegar & Mama’s Lil Peppers … 7.98 Roasted Baby Carrots, Cashew Sesame Dukkah, Esplette Yogurt & Carrot Top Pesto........ 8.75
Roasted Baby Turnips & Charred Creme Fraiche & Chimichurri … $ 7. 73

A friend highly recommended Searsucker, but there wasn’t anything on the menu I found so appealing.

Thanks for the heads up. I’ve had this place on my short list since it opened, now removed. I can deal with the clientele, but I really don’t like a highly noisy environment for a meal. Too bad, the food sounds interesting and isn’t very expensive.

I think it’s probably quiet for the first hour or two. We went into Juniper & Ivy around 4:45 and it was quiet. Looked in again after being blasted out of H&W and it was also blaring intolerably loud music.

If the think the music is too loud just go during the week.

The muic at J&I tends to be loud in the bar area but much less in the dining room. Just get seats at the kitchen counter (mention it in your reservation) where it is easy to have conversation

I dunno that it’s more dining-centric, but it is more sedate on week nights.

To me, the taste of the food never lives up to its menu descriptions. I’ve tried the tortellini with rabbit sausage and the whole dish had a weird “gummy glue” feel to it. Like Elmers got a hold of it before it left the heat lamps. And the roasted branzino just had no taste, a waste of what otherwise should’ve been a fabulous fish.

Trust is noisy, but their branzino is really, really good :slight_smile:

Many things at Trust are very good. Quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

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Mine too!

They recently added a milk chocolate custard with chocolate sorbet, garnished with chocolate crumbles and mint leaves. I pair it with the Trust Cocktail #3, and I swear for a minute or two (or even three) I feel like I know what a tweaker must feel like after a good shot of pure crystal meth.

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Yes, music and sound much less in dining areas. Easy to have a conversation with your dining partners without having to raise voices.

I had a wonderful dining experience at Herb & Wood this evening.

When I arrived at about 4:45, I had a bit of trouble finding the entrance. There’s an Herb and Eatery on Kettner that adjoins on the same corner, is under the same ownership, and looks like it should be the way in – but no. Happily, one of the owners came out and pointed me around the corner to the real entrance, which is on Ivy, about 100 ft. west of Kettner. There’s a doorway and attractive staircase connecting the restaurant and market, which, when it opens, will sell light things to eat there or take out. The market will close at 6, so even after it opens it’s not clear that that’ll be a way to enter the restaurant. (That was the original idea, I was told, but it might not work out.)

I was the first one at the bar at 4:45, which has a very nice rectangular layout in the center of the inside dining area. I was in the mood for something simple that would go well with anything. The answer (in my personal book) is a martini, but they don’t have my favorite gin (Tanqueray); I don’t care for Beefeater; and Bombay Sapphire should be drunk neat, not mixed into a classic martini, IMO. So the bartender pointed me to a newly-available gin from a tiny (200 sq. ft.) place in Amsterdam, called Rutte, and gave me a little sample. Really, next time I’ll drink it neat; it was one of the best gins I’ve ever had.

I nursed the martini until 5:30 (when the restaurant opens) and was then seated in the open-roof patio area. A beautiful design, and beautifully furnished and decorated, I thought. And with the cloudless bright blue sky of late afternoon today, it was really delightful. I talked again with the co-owner (the one who I’d met at the entrance to the market), and he said they might install some kind of removable or retractable covering for the few days that it rains, but maybe not. It’s so very nice just as it is. Just in case, though, you might want to check this place out before that happens (if it ever does).

I ordered the roasted branzino, grilled cauliflower, and a glass of Oberto Barbera d’Alaba. Perfect. The very acidic, flavorful cauliflower offset the sublime branzino (with some of the best prosciutto I’ve ever had, grilled, wrapped around), and the round, soft barbera d’Alba complimented both. The head and tail of the fish were on the plate, lined up with the vertically-staniding rolls of delightfully-seasoned, slightly spicy fish. For desert, I had their nectarine blackberry cobbler and a Don Fulano reposado, the latter served in a genuine, stemmed tequila glass. ( I’m glad to see that other glassmakers other than Riedel are making these now.) I chose this particular tequila (which isn’t on the menu yet) because the waiter told me the proprietor was at the next table. So how to refuse? It was great, and I gave my thanks to the taquilero as I was leaving. I really enjoyed it.

Service was professional; semi-formal black-apron, white-shirt servers and assistants.

Herb & Wood is a new benchmark restaurant for me, the best new restaurant I’ve been to in a long time; easily in competition with others offering Modern American cuisine. And it’s right around the corner (almost literally) from J&I. Happily for all, the new parking garage at Cedar and Kettner is open to the public after 6 pm now.

Oh, yes. It wasn’t really that noisy out in the courtyard. And there are no TVs.

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A couple of clarifications to my previous post. The ham around the branzino rolls was Serrano, not prosciutto; the rolls were roasted, not grilled, and the co-owner that I had the good fortune to run into was Christopher Puffer. (I didn’t know how many owners there were when I first posted, and he introduced himself simply as “one of the owners”. But I looked around and there are just the two of them.)

Brian Malarkey is a Chef/owner with Puffer at a bunch of their restaurants. So was Brian there?

I didn’t see him, although he may have been in the kitchen. (While at the bar I was interested to see if he was working in the kitchen. The far wall has glass separating the dining room from the kitchen.)

I’m not familiar with restaurant owners like others here, so Puffer is a new name to me. I’d have recognized Malarkey, though.

It’s my impression that Herb & Wood is Brian Malarkey’s new flagship. This is a truly premium restaurant that makes no apologies.