It is difficult to describe this eccentric spot. Sherwood’s Bistro and Bar has been open just eight months. It’s located in a questionable neighborhood in the Little River district at 8281 NE 2nd Avenue, in an old quirky building which was previously a doctor’s office and before that, who knows. It seats roughly 75 inside, with an additional 60 seats outside. It looks like it is out of an old vintage western set, with mismatched wooden tables and chairs “a la grandma”, an apothecary wooden cabinet, distressed and weathered columns, a bar in the back and a lovely patio. It looks like a bordello from Westworld. There is a painting of a Native American holding a machine gun at the entrance and knick-knacks lining the walls. The floors and ceiling are from another era. The large overwhelming menu is also hard to describe. It is an eclectic mix of contemporary comfort food, including salads, flatbread, 1/2 a dozen burger choices, and pasta, meat, and fish selections from various countries. The dishes include Japanese, French, American, Caribbean, Italian, and Greek cuisines. There is also a section called “For the Tribe”, which are large portion platters and plates that can feed a family.
The restaurant is owned by Barclay Graebner and Steve Harivel, who also owns Morgans – that house you see in Wynwood.
Nico, the manager, is wonderfully enthusiastic, and couldn’t have been more welcoming. He invited us to try Grana Padano from a huge wheel, with a drizzle of balsamic reduction or clover honey on top. He also served us breadsticks as well. I thought this was a lovely way to start off our experience. I found the food to be reasonably priced, and in large portions. I started with a bistro salad, a bargain at $8. It was large enough to feed two. It is a friseé salad with eggs and a too salty piece of crispy pancetta. I loved the dressing, it reminded me of a dressing I had in my youth at a Florida restaurant called Embers. My only complaint was it was overdressed. It seems that night, the chef must have been in love because our main courses were SO over-salted that they were not enjoyable to eat. It was too bad, because the presentations were beautiful. I was disillusioned. The bouillabaisse, a Provençal fish stew, came brimming with cod, shrimp (overcooked), mussels and calamari. The same base was in the mussels. I found it excruciating to eat the sauce, and I would have loved to dip that excellent half of a warm baguette into something. Also, they give you about a hundred mussels, but they were like the size of a tiny vitamin pill. Do you know how much work it is to remove 100 mussels? I would suggest, 1/3 the amount and provide a large, juicy variety. If they hold back on the salt, they would have a divine dish. They have a nice selection of charcuterie and cheese plates. I would just come for a glass of wine and a plate of cheese. For dessert, Nico wouldn’t show us a dessert menu, he insisted we try the banana pudding. It was an overly sweet rendition with cookies, salted caramel and too many blackened bananas. I am a huge fan of a Magnolia Bakery banana pudding, so I found myself asking, where is the pudding??
This place has huge potential, they just need to tweak some basic things. The staff was attentive and the food presentations were on point.
Sherwood’s is open 7 days a week, and they serve brunch on the weekend. Thier plan is to also open for lunch as well. They also have a happy hour from 5-8. They offer valet parking at $5, and I suggest you use this service as the whole street is going under extensive repairs.
There was a steady crowd coming in, so people have discovered the place.
If you are looking for a casual, charming and relaxed place, with reasonable prices and simple, unsophisticated food, a nice cocktail selection, and also reasonably priced wine, then look no further.