Herb and Olive brings Greek flavor to Manhasset

Herb and Olive brings Greek flavor to Manhasset
Herb and Olive restaurant manager Julia Petropoulos has been operating the restaurant on Plandome Road since 2019. Photo credit: Michael J. Lewis

Julia Petropoulos was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, but it was time lived in Greece that changed the course of her life.

Petropoulos had been a teacher in the U.S., specializing in home economics and fashion design, but moved to Athens with her then-husband and kids when a job transfer for her spouse brought them there.

While in Greece she found herself loving the local food markets she encountered, and the sense of community and flavors she discovered.

“I was buying fish from the local places and ingredients from different stores, and I would come across these beautiful distributors of teas, and extra virgin olive oil and I just thought it was amazing,” Petropoulos recalled. “And it sort of became a dream I had about what kind of place I’d like to have if I ever had the chance.”

For a kid who grew up working in her family’s Pennsylvania pizzeria, the lightbulb idea led to action. After her family moved to Manhasset six years ago, Petropoulos started planning her idea of a Mediterranean restaurant combined with a local market.

And that dream has become Herb and Olive, a popular spot at 172 Plandome Road.

Opened a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down in March 2020, Herb and Olive has undergone some changes to menu and concept but remains an upbeat brunch, lunch and dinner spot that has taken on the personality of its owner: Bright, friendly and with infectious enthusiasm.

Featuring classic Greek dishes like konstosouvli and saganaki, along with popular entrees like wild salmon and beet salad, Herb and Olive has done well enough that Petropoulos is hoping to expand her current seating capacity of 62.

“The community support has been overwhelming and so appreciated,” Petropoulos said. “From the high school kids who come in, to the regulars from town, to customers from other towns, it’s been really great to see.”

That Herb and Olive is still around in 2024 is a little bit of a miracle, as after two years of planning the shop opened in the fall of 2019.

But just as she was starting to build some word of mouth and buzz, Petropoulos had to close everything down.

When COVID-19 struck, Petropoulos pivoted for the first time. She began cooking “everything we had left in the kitchen,” and distributing the food to local hospitals and delivering it to families in need.

“We’d get a call from our local churches, saying ‘we have a hungry family, what can $40 get them?’” Petropoulos recalled. “And we’d give them whatever we had. There was so much need.”

While she had to temporarily lay off most of her employees for a few months, Petropoulos turned Herb and Olive into a mini-market, selling staples like eggs, milk and bread, anything to keep her business running.

“I always used to tell my students “dream big, one day your dream will come true,” she said. “It may not happen today, but keep dreaming. And I wanted to keep my dream going.”

Eventually Herb and Olive was able to re-open with space restrictions, and slowly an eatery that would offer shared small plates had to deal with the fact that no one wanted to share anything for a while (fear of COVID, of course).

But as restrictions eased, Petropoulos saw her customers come back, and now she’s looking to build bigger and better.

“The community supported me during COVID and I’ll never forget that, so I want to make our restaurant as good as possible,” she said. “I want to see all the (local) restaurants do well, bring more people here, and see all of us succeed.”



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  1. Love Herb and Olive….. Whenever I visit the area, I live in South Florida, eating and shopping at Herb and Olive is a priority….
    The ambiance is amazing, the food, the people, the assortment of items to choose from is a wonderful variety and delicious. Julia always makes sure to greet everyone and makes them feel welcomed and appreciated….


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