Wild mushroom Bolognese, a dish at 7 Gerard, a new...

Wild mushroom Bolognese, a dish at 7 Gerard, a new restaurant in Huntington. Credit: Patrick Cline

The building at 7 Gerard St. in Huntington has had at least three lives in this young century. First came the Gerard Street Antiques Gallery period, and then the Miracle Mop period in 2009, when inventor Joy Mangano funded a chic, multilevel dining room for Porto Vivo, the first restaurant she opened there. Seven years and a two-star review from Newsday later, Mangano launched a second eatery in the spot, Jema, which opened in 2016 and lasted less than two years, despite a glowing 3.5-star review in Newsday, which also named Jema the top fine dining spot of 2016 in its annual Top 100 list.

Let’s call this latest chapter, which begins next Tuesday, 7 Gerard’s eponymous period, when an eatery of the same name opens in Huntington. Per its website, diners can expect “new American cuisine with an emphasis on natural flavor and influences from around the world, including Mediterranean and Asian dishes,” along with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan selections.

"I think it's something that is kind of lacking in Huntington now," said Jim Cahill, a Huntington resident who is one of the restaurant's four owners along with his wife, Eileen Kathryn Boyd, Mary Ann Hurd and Brian Yudewitz. Boyd, an interior designer, also reimagined the dramatic three-level space. Cahill: "We wanted something really healthy, a flavor-filled menu that's reasonable with a good price point." 

"An upscale vibe with an affordable price," added Boyd. 

To bring their vision to life, Cahill and Boyd enlisted chef John Brill to create 7 Gerard’s menu, whose eclecticism (“a combination of the healthiest food cultures in the world,” says the website) matches Brill’s background. In addition to his affiliation with the new Manhasset restaurant BLVD25, Brill has run kitchens from Jack Halyard’s in Oyster Bay to Four Food Studio in Melville, to Red Fish Grille in Plainview. (The latter three are now closed.) Sushi chef Chulo Choi will be on-site as well, creating such intriguing fare as the 7G roll, which features shrimp tempura, avocado and lobster meat, as well as the Natuto roll with salmon, tuna and crabmeat in cucumber skin.

Brill’s menu includes such veggie-propelled starters as lettuce wraps, vegetarian tacos and wok-fired artichoke hearts ($10-$16). A 6-foot-long mesquite, wood-fired grill will be pressed into service for entrees as diverse as ahi tuna, rib-eye and sea scallops ($26-$34). Other intriguing mains include an espresso-crusted lamb loin, pan-roasted half-chicken with herb gnocchi, and a quinoa meat-free burger ($16-$32). For his part, Cahill is partial to the shareable surf and turf sliders composed of angus beef, tuna tartare and a cucumber and wasabi cream, but he also mentions the sushi menu approvingly, along with anything that comes out of 7 Gerard's flatbread oven. A number of dishes catering to paleo and other popular diets are also available.

"All three levels look on to each other," said Boyd of the unusual design challenge posed by the multi-tier dining room, which is punctuated by a sweeping spiral staircase. "The first level has kind of an industrial, warehouse, modern vibe, and it has a commercial but also residential vibe, with a lot of black accents." Also of note: a two-story collection of canvases with a "hip-hop graffiti vibe" that Boyd commissioned from Huntington-born artist Diego Garcia. "When you're downstairs, it's very busy and bistro-like, and as you ascend the staircase, the bar is tucked into the right, very clubby and cozy." Even cozier is 7 Gerard's third level, which boasts a fireplace and intimate, lounge-like atmosphere, and doubles as a great private party space. Overall, said Boyd, "there are spots to disappear to, and spots to be seen. It feels like an upscale townhouse, but we want all kinds of people to come in and enjoy it."

7 Gerard is at 7 Gerard St. in Huntington, 631-944-3777, 7gerard.com. Opening hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Monday. 

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