Who to Take: Someone with an adventurous palate or a gang for a celebratory dinner
My cousin’s birthday is at the end of January, so we headed off the see what the menu at Henry Restaurant held for our celebration. The restaurant is in the lobby of the Life Hotel, one of the newest additions to the NOMAD area of NYC, and has a spare, golden industrial feel. It was pretty buzzing the night we went. We had a drink at the bar before heading to our table, and were pleased to see some interesting non-alcoholic cocktails, like the Winter Sour (seen in photo above) to round out the drink menu.
I’ve been noticing that Steak Tartare seems to be on almost every menu in town—a somewhat throwback option. Here we started out with The Dry-Aged Beef Tartare which was served with a stack of pleasantly, oily malt chips, which acted as a nice tool to tear and scoop. The prize for prettiest dish of the night arrived from the Crudo section of the menu with Gin Cured Hamach. Thei beet-citrus-ponzu sauce gave the dish a burst of color and flavor to boot.
Since my cousin is a vegetable lover, we ordered every single one of the vegetable dishes on the menu including the Tri-Color Cauliflower and Grapefruit, served with fourme d’ambert (French blue cheese) in a banyuls (French apertif) vinaigrette; the creamiest House-Made Burrata & Kabocha Squash was a crowd pleaser; a new twist on a Caesar salad with Italian Chicory & Charred Endive figs topped with a layer of parmesan.
For our entrees, my cousin, chose the Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti, which was not pasta, but made from spiralized delicata squash and was topped with a hen of the woods mushroom. I got the Slow Cooked Halibut which arrived in a nice portion and sat in a chamomile broth with braised celery, so I could stick to my low-carb agenda. The prized dish of the night went to Eric, who was encouraged to order the Port Laquered Short Rib accompanied by jalapeno-potato puree and topped with a sesame horseradish gremolata—amazingly tender and rich. For dessert the birthday celebration called for some flames! Served at the table was an order of Cherries Jubilee served with hazelnut-amaretto-crunch ice cream and a super delicious honey almond granola.
The Birthday Dinner Menu:
• Gin Cured Hamachi w beet citrus ponzu
• Dry-Aged Beef Tartare w malt chips
• Tri-Color Cauliflower & Grapefruit w fourme d’ambert, banyuls vinaigrette
• Roasted Baby Beet w sumac yogurt, crispy quinoa, toasted almonds
• House-Made Burrata & Kabocha Squash w calabrian pepper
• Italian Chicory & Charred Endive Caesar w fig, parmesan
• Delicata Squash “Cacio E Pepe” Spaghetti w hen of the woods
• Slow Cooked Halibut w braised celery, olive, chamomile
• Port Laquered Short Rib w jalapeno-potato puree, sesame horseradish gremolata
• Cherries Jubilee w flambe black cherry, hazelnut amaretto crunch ice cream, honey almond granola
Downstairs from Henry’s lies cocktail bar Gibson & Luce, which we will save for another visit as it was already filled to capacity that night we stopped in. Love all the new spots opening up in this area. Always thought it was weird that the area surrounding the Empire State Building was a dead zone as far as culinary and cocktail pursuits. (not including Koreatown) No longer true!
Henry at the Life Hotel, 19 W 31st St (betw 5th Ave/Broadway)