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Andrew | Feb 20, 200009:59 AM     2

I'm kind of surprised that there's been such little notice on these pages of Henry's - a newish (open @ 2 months) upper west side restaurant (105 and B'way).Well, I've been there 3 times now, 2 dinners and one brunch so I can report with some confidence.

It's a big place, having taken over the space formerly occupied by Birdland, and then Tofu. The owners must have sunk a fortune into the renovations and it is attractive and fairly comfortable. I believe it's run by a restaurant group - the matchbooks available when it first opened were from Bice - must be that group.

Anyway, the food is decent without being spectacular. I think they were trying for the up-scale comfort food angle at first (chicken pot pie, fish and chips) but have been morphing the menu into more standard bistro food. Since the menu has been changing, I'll only mention what we had there last night. Appetizers were fried calamari with ancho aioli, and goat cheese salad. Both were good without hitting any heights - sort of a restaurant acid test - if they mess these dishes up, beware. We followed with moules frites and ribs. Again, both good but no swoons. Wine list is okay-ish. We had a Shooting Star chardonnay (98) for $30 which worked well with all but the ribs (duh). They also have a nice chardonnay available by the glass which I hadn't ever heard of before - Kiona (Washington State).

Anyway, my impression is that it's a good place which adds something to this "in-between" neighborhood. There's not much else new around here except for an Afghan Kebab House which remodels and changes concepts every three weeks or so (a bad sign). Henry's is clearly family oriented with a relatively small number of tables for 2, generally stuck off in corners, and a no reservation policy for small parties. Service can be on the rushed side - entrees arrived before we finished the starters - and not just at our table. Prices for food are in line with the more upscale places in the neighborhood (apps: $5-9, entrees: $14-19) but may not represent great value compared to what's available for these prices elsewhere.

Anyone else been there?

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