Tea-brined fried chicken is a signature dish.
Photos By Doug Schneider
A sense of fun and high-spirits went into the menu at Wolfert’s Roost, a 40-seat BYOB restaurant with a modest storefront. Wolfert’s Roost is plainly decorated with white-washed walls, brown butcher-paper runners on the tables, and a smattering of counter seating with kitchen views. Dishes such as “bloomin’ broccoli,” crunchy tempura-fried and served with apricot jam and Humboldt Fog cheese, and Korean-“ish” baby back ribs, served in a log cabin stack, exemplify the contemporary, exuberant spins on comfort food found here.
Wolfert's modest yet cozy interior.
You’ll munch on classed-up Goldfish crackers (with lemon zest and Parmesan) while perusing the menu’s four main sections: salads, medium plates, large plates, and big bowls. There are also smaller sections for sides and snacks (pickled veggies and johnnycakes, or cornmeal flatbread, are solid choices).
Mid-sized plates include dishes like wild mushroom bruschetta with melted funky Taleggio and a sunny-side-up egg and a pleasing take on red sauce spaghetti where a somewhat crunchy quiche-sized slice of skillet pasta is matched with a rich pork ragù and nutty piave cheese.
Among the mains to sample are ultra-moist and sweet-tea-brined fried chicken trickled with warm honey; General Jennie’s Admiral Feast (a skillful take on General Tso’s chicken with fried scallops, shrimp, clams, and white fish); and a braised short rib pho, a top-grade version of the classic Vietnamese noodle soup.
The restaurant, on Irvington’s quaint Main Street, comes from Eric Korn, owner of catering company Good-Life Gourmet. Jennie Werts, formerly chef de cuisine at Zengo in Manhattan and Jorge Ortiz (also previously at Zengo) are co-chefs. The restaurant’s moniker is a tribute to the home of Wolfert Acker (1667-1763), who worked for the Dutch colonial government and for whom the Washington Irving story collection, Wolfert’s Roost, is named.
On a return visit—and we bet you’ll want to experience this original little star again—try the $65 omakase, where the chefs assemble a grand tasting of six to seven plates, kind of like a series of best-bet dishes for the evening. You won’t have to wrestle with what to order or worry if you ordered the right dish; instead you can just relish in the delightful parade of food.
WHAT TO ORDER: bloomin’ broccoli, pickled veggies, torta di spaghetti, wild mushroom bruschetta, short rib pho, baby back ribs, dope ’effing steak
100 Main St, Irvington
(914) 231-7576; www.wolfertsroostirvington.com