Monday, January 21, 2013

Wild Honey on Main - Restaurant Review

This review is overdue, but it's a case of better late than never for this Port Washington gem.  Delicious, unique food, cozy atmosphere and an intimate space will keep us coming back for more.

We first dined here a few months ago with friends.  We had reservations--a necessity on a Friday or Saturday night--and came a bit early, planning to have a drink at the bar.  Unfortunately, there was no room at the cozy bar (which only seats about four), since people were eating dinner there.  I get that whole "we'll just eat at the bar" thing when you show up on a Saturday night without a reservation, but it definitely kills the concept of having a pre-dinner drink at the bar when there are people camping out on bar stools with their plates, forks and knives.  We opted to go across the street to Finn McCouls while we waited for our table.

It was worth the wait...  They first serve you fresh baked rolls with strawberry mango butter and regular butter.  The hot rolls melt in your mouth--it's hard not to get stuffed on the rolls and wine before the 'real food' is served.  The narrow dining room space glows warmly with candlelit tables and sports exposed brick walls adorned with hand-painted works of contemporary art.

Our appetizers -- crispy calamari with Asian dressing, baked oysters and salad with dried cranberries, pears and walnuts -- were all delicious.  The calamari was the stand-out, and great for sharing.  It was fried to perfection, not to greasy, not too rubbery, and the sweet/sour/spicy Thai BBQ sauce on top gave the calamari a new twist.  On our next visit, I tried the calamari as a topper on the salad.  I noticed that duck sliders were on the appetizer menu -- it will no doubt be my app next visit.

Though it's not on the menu--and may be up to the chef's whim--we were served little cups of pureed asparagus soup between courses.  It was delicious--savory, vegetable-green,  and a fun amuse-bouche. Served very hot, I dipped the homemade rolls in the soup while it cooled -- heaven.

Over the course of two visits, I've chosen two entrees, and sampled a third.  If you like a heavier entree, definitely choose the Cracklin' Pork Shank.   It falls off the bone in tender morsels and is served on a bed of creamy saffron orzo drenched in a sherry sauce.  There's a bit of carmelized red peppers and onions resting on top of the shank, but if you're looking for a serious vegetable side dish, these will disappoint.  They add a bit of flavor, but you'll have to get your fruit/veggie food pyramid fix elsewhere.  But why not indulge in major meat once in a while?  I could barely eat a third of the pork shank, and gladly took it home to repurpose as pork tacos, etc.  Next visit I might opt for the filet mignon with garlic mash, topped with blue cheese.

For a lighter entree, I'd recommend the Pan Seared Sea Scallops served with Eggplant Caponata.  It's light and healthy, but may leave you hungry for more.  The description lists several vegetables, but they're diced up so finely that they end up looking like garnish than an accompaniment.   My husband had the Marinated Shrimp Saute on our second visit, which was likewise light, served with a melange of Green Mango, Baby Bok Choy, Baby Carrots and Soy Rice with a Lime Cilantro Sauce.  I liked it, and it had a bright citrus flavor, but I personally prefer the heartier option of the Pork Shank.

Both visits I had the berry crisp, served with vanilla ice cream.   Again, I think the heartier the better at Wild Honey on Main, and the bright berry flavors of the crisp meld nicely with the crumb topping and cool ice cream. I'll probably get it as long as it's on the menu, since the other dessert options are somewhat limited. My husband had the sorbet and decided that it was "just okay."

The Sunday night prix fixe is a deal not to be missed--three decadent courses for $26.95.  Also impressive is that amount of selection on the prix fixe -- some of my favorites are available on the prix fixe menu (4 apps/5 entrees and 3 desserts to choose from).

Overall, we loved the food and overall experience at Wild Honey on Main and will be going back soon.  Just make sure you get a reservation!


Wild Honey on Main
172 Main Street
Port Washington, New York 11050

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