I am writing to tell you how pleased my husband and I were (and still are!) with our son Luke's christening celebration at Wild Honey in Oyster Bay. Our family could not stop raving about the food from beginning to end. The appetizers were a real treat and came in abundance which was a pleasant surprise! Our guests thoroughly enjoyed their meals and desserts (as did we...my steak was amazing!). In fact, my sisters and their husbands are trying to devise a plan to get the teens in our family to watch the wee ones, so the adults can have a night out at Wild Honey. We definitely intend to visit soon!
In addition to the incredible food, the service was magnificent. Ozzie and Kris (I apologize if name spellings are incorrect) were attentive, gracious, and incredibly friendly. This isn't just my opinion. I received several comments from different guests about how wonderful and pleasant they both were.
This was by far one of the most enjoyable parties we've thrown. You and your staff are so accommodating. You made it easy to plan and everything was just as we requested. Thank you so much for making a memorable day even more memorable.
Many try to do the "cool city thing", but they either over achieve (and turn out pretentious) or they fall short. Wild Honey does neither, It hits the nail on the head. Chic, sophisticated, citified experience without the hoopla.
THE IMPROPER MAGAZINE
NEW YORK TIMES
DINING OUT; Teddy Would Have Said 'Bully'
By JOANNE STARKEY
WILD Honey has taken root in the historic building at the corner of East Main St. and South Street in Oyster Bay. A hundred years ago, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and kept a home nearby at Sagamore Hill, this was the location of his local office. Roosevelt would have said ''bully'' about this new restaurant. It doesn't serve wild boar or any other game he might have shot, but the food is so good it would make anyone break out in a toothy, ear-to-ear grin.
It surpasses the building's previous tenants: the Bookmark Cafe and, most recently, Harvest. Like its predecessors, Wild Honey is attractive, making the most of this lovely landmark's good looks. There are huge windows, high ceilings, period lighting, shiny wood floors and an exposed brick wall. Other walls are charcoal brown and warm tan. Silk draperies in earth tones flank those big windows. Splashes of color are provided by paintings by local artists and by the jewel shades in the brocade covering banquettes and chairs. Young people, dressed in black with shirts with the Wild Honey logo, delivered superior service. Extra rolls, right from the oven, were added to the basket even before they were needed; additional butter arrived without our asking and replacement silver was provided just as automatically. Tables were crumbed and water glasses refilled as needed.
I had a few quibbles about underseasoning in some of the appetizers, but the majority of the dishes were bull's-eyes. Three full-flavored openers to remember are the Texas toast, the mussels and the guava barbecued ribs. The toast was a knife-and-fork affair of garlic bread piled high with grilled wild mushrooms including porcinis: hefty, hardy and delicious. The mussels arrived in a large black skillet and were noteworthy for their sweetness, plumpness, portion size and accompanying drawn butter. The four fall-from-the-bones ribs had a slightly sweet, charred tomato relish on top and were made even better by being mated with a pineapple-jicama-carrot slaw. Among salads, the Caesar was classic and satisfying and the beach house salad with field greens, grape tomatoes, crunchy blue-corn tortilla strips and wild honey dressing was appealing.
The chowder, with oysters and clams, was creamy but needed salt. The fresh crab salad was also underseasoned. Its green salad accompaniment was dressed, but the crab meat on the plate, nestled beside slices of avocado, was bare and blah.
Beef lovers are advised to pick the roasted and grilled prime rib ($18) over the more expensive New York sirloin ($26). The sirloin passed muster but could not compete with the juicy prime rib. The prime rib's meat was on-the-bone, fork-tender and nearly filled the plate. There was still room, though, for a surprisingly good sweet potato hash tossed with peppers and onions and for a bourbon-shallot sauce.
Another good choice was the pasta Bolognese, a big bowl of pappardelle with a delicious meat sauce that included porcini mushrooms. Also rib-sticking was the succulent grilled double pork chop with attractive platemates: broccoli rabe, grilled pears and mashed boniato. The last is a Latin-American tuber, similar to a potato that was mashed with a bit of butter and citrus and piled into a half-orange.
Lighter picks included grilled North Atlantic salmon with an ancho wild honey glaze. It was perfectly cooked. So, too, was the Chilean sea bass paired with a creamy sweet corn sauce, wilted spinach, mushroom sauté and frizzled leek topper. Another seafood success was the bamboo-skewered grilled shrimp (four) alternating with chunks of asparagus. They came with sesame-dotted Chinese long beans, grilled eggplant and white rice. Their soy-lime dipping sauce (on the side) was a bit overpowering.
If seafood stew with assorted flat fish, mussels, shrimp and calamari is offered as a special, go for it. The delicious tomato-tinged broth held well-turned-out seafood. Even the calamari were tender.
Wonderful homemade desserts topped off a satisfying meal at Wild Honey. The strawberry shortcake featured a warm, old-fashioned biscuit, the Key lime tart was appropriately tangy with a buttery crust, the warm molten-center chocolate cake oozed at the touch of a fork.
Cheese lovers, take note. The cheese plate here is a good one, with large portions of four varieties, a fresh berry garnish and a wedge of focaccia topped with dried fruit.
Wild Honey 1 East Main Street, Oyster Bay (516)922-4690
Wild Honey 1 East Main Street Oyster Bay, NY 516-922-4690
Wild Honey puts you in clover.
The new restaurant opens in one of Oyster Bay's landmarks: the building where Theodore Roosevelt had his summer executive office.
In the years since, the traditions haven't always been quite so progressive. Several restaurants, most recently Harvest, have occupied the spot. The Book Mark Cafe probably had the longest run.
Wild Honey improves dramatically on all of them. But the earth-tone dining room, with its exposed brick and assorted hard surfaces, can be noisy enough to bring out the Rough Rider in you.
Most of the conversation ricocheting around, when not political, turns to the edible. And there's plenty to talk about.
Begin with a deftly seasoned, peppery white chowder of oysters and clams, potatoes and pancetta. It's ideal on a breezy night. Or turn absolutely summery with a refreshing salad of dewy lump crabmeat, sliced avocado, papaya, red onions and greens in a gingery citrus vinaigrette.
"Texas toast" is the official designation for a savory opener of grilled wild mushrooms glistening with olive oil and spiked with garlic and herbs set on a thick cut of bread. A couple of these could be a fine lunch.
But the "open pit chicken sate," with its Thai hint in the title, arrives as a prosciutto- wrapped, mini-zeppelin of white meat with pesto. It's pretty bland, even with sweet grilled pears. And the dish looks like a wedding-reception refugee.
Underseasoning also undermines the "guava BBQ ribs," which taste merely boiled rather than slow-roasted. The charred tomato relish and pineapple-jicama slaw are good on their own, but can't rescue the ribs.
Instead, consider the steamed littlenecks, in a roasted garlic broth with scallions and tomatoes; or the "iron skillet mussels," with salt, pepper and butter for company.
The "beach house" salad, with grape tomatoes, greens, blue-corn crisps and a wild honey dressing has a mellow quality. The Caesar salad is the mild variety, but boosted by shards of Grana Padano cheese.
Pappardelle Bolognese is worth sampling either as an appetizer or a main course. The snappy sauce brings veal, beef, prosciutto and porcini mushrooms into the mix. Very good.
The sirloin steak with grilled shiitake mushrooms and mashed potatoes is tender and terrific, pink as ordered, with a touch of balsamic vinegar. For bigger appetites, there's a generous prime rib, resting on a mash of sweet potatoes. It does, however, materialize more toward well-done than medium-rare. The beef is boosted by a bourbon-laced shallot sauce.
A grilled, double-cut pork chop, juicy and husky, benefits from mashed, stuffed boniato, the white-fleshed Cuban sweet potato; broccoli rabe, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Moist, slightly charred Cornish game hen is supported by a rather dry version of panzanella, the Italian bread salad.
The kitchen fashions a delectable, sweet corn emulsion, which surrounds a flaky cut of Chilean sea bass. A saute of spinach and mushrooms and frizzled leeks complete the show. Equally fine: oak- planked swordfish, with an oven-dried tomato relish, mashed potatoes, roasted peppers and a spinach saute.
Tangy key lime pie is here in two versions, a hefty wedge and a more stylized individual tart. The open-faced peach tart is ripe and sweet. An updated, too-refined s'mores tart could use a Girl Scout's campfire expertise.
The cheese plate boasts creamy Brie, Parmesan, pungent Gorgonzola and Dorset Cheddar, berries, biscotti, and a triangle of fruit-crusted bread.