Brian Malarkey's Little Italy Project Set To Debut April 29 | Herb & Wood Nearly Ready To Unveil

April 15, 2016

Herb & Wood, the much-anticipated Little Italy concept from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and his business partner Chris Puffer is anticipated to open on Friday, April 29, with the Kettner-fronted market to debut a few months after. Get some initial details now and check out Troy Johnson's expansive "first look" of the space on San Diego Magazine online!

The 12,000 square foot Herb & Wood dual-concept took over the location that previously served as the Mixture Art Warehouse adjacent to Juniper & Ivy. With various seating options, the casual restaurant fits a little over 200 diners in its main eatery space that includes a lounge and bar area, a main dining room and an expansive patio with fireside seating.

Executing in the kitchen alongside Chef Malarkey is co-chef and partner Shane McIntyre who has worked for Chef Malarkey for over five years at several of his restaurants. McIntyre began his culinary path with Malarkey as the Chef de Cuisine at the original Searsucker and then became corporate chef a year later, opening various locations across the country. In the summer of 2015 he started overseeing the kitchens of both Green Acre properties as well as the newly opened Farmer and the Seahorse.

“Shane has shared my passion for all things culinary since we met - he has cooked with me, taught me and inspired me, as he does with everyone in the kitchens he has worked," said Malarkey. "We are thrilled to push each other out of our comfort zones of styles and flavors and move in a new challenging direction with simply prepared dishes that focus on subtleties.”

A signature dish of Chef McIntyre’s at Herb & Wood will be stuffed branzino with Meyer lemon, parsley, chives, and chervil, wrapped in prosciutto and roasted, with chili tapenade made with Castelvatrano olives, Calabrian chilis, shallot and garlic. Other menu items will include local tuna & uni crudo with apple, shallot, herb relish and cucumber citrus broth; wood fire King Trumpet mushrooms with lemon verbena and house churned butter; pastas made in-house like triagoli with smoked rabbit sausage, burrata, Meyer lemon and pistachios; and grilled swordfish with yogurt, farro, pea sprouts and charred carrots in a curry vinaigrette. The wood fire oven will also churn out pizzas that host an array of toppings, from seasonal veggies, to house-made sausage and salumi. The pizza dough will be made with a 48 hours aging process prior to cooking. Breads will be baked daily and simple desserts will complement the cuisine.

Local tuna & uni crudo
“It's a celebrated chef, an experienced GM and a collection of friends and family whose dream is to open a culinary institution in Little Italy,” says partner and General Manager Christopher Puffer.

Anchoring the ambitious pastry and baking program, which will include house-made pizza dough, a selection of breads, and desserts is Executive Pastry Chef Adrian Mendoza. Mendoza will create desserts such as blueberry soufflé with whipped buttermilk and blueberry compote. Mendoza worked alongside Chef Malarkey as Executive Pastry Chef at Herringbone and Searsucker and previously worked at Spago in Beverly Hills, the Michelin two-star restaurant.

Herb & Wood will be open for dinner nightly and then will consider adding brunch on Sundays. The restaurant will be open first as early as April 29, followed by the more casual eatery with it’s grab-and-go area, called Herb and Eatery, set to open this summer.

Herb & Wood is located at 2210 Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy. For more information, visit herbandwood.com and check out the menus below.