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RW - Chez Henri

Dr.Jimbob | Mar 9, 200709:35 AM

Chez Henri has been around for a while, but somehow I've made it this far without ever making it down there. Figured RW was as good an excuse as any.

They had a three course prix fixe for dinner, with one Cuban-ish and one French-ish offering in each course. We opted for the plantain soup for the starter. Very tasty, creamy soup, with a curry undertone and a lovely chunk of bacon floating in the bowl (not sure if they called it pancetta or what, but man, that was a tasty bit of salted pork!). My friend tried the tilapia special which was in a tartar-type sauce -- the sauce was very good, to my mind the tilapia was a bit overcooked but my friend wasn't complaining. My wife opted to skip the prix fixe and went for the hangar steak with frites, which was done to perfection -- charred on the outside, just past purple on the inside, and tasty all around, just the way she likes it. The fries were sprinkled with parsley (oddly enough, the Cuban fries we ordered on the side did not have parsley on them) and soaked up the mushroom sauce quite well. I had the pork loin, which had some lovely caramelized onions and mashed sweet potatoes with a cilantro and fennel based salad. The pork loin also came up a bit short for me -- not bad, but not overwhelmingly tasting like much of anything either, though the condiments and sides were all quite good. Dessert was the tres leches cake, which is the incarnation of pure unadulterated evil - very rich, creamy and hyper-moist cake, whipped cream on top and a sinful milk caramel dipping sauce on the plate.

The house wine for the evening was a gran reserva Rioja called "Gran Familia" which offered beautifully round, big fruit and went with everything well. My friend had a Macallan 12 yr whiskey as an aperitif, and I had a glass of an Alvear Pedro Ximenez. The whiskey was also really tasty, even for me who doesn't normally drink hard liquor, and the Pedro was more than the customary maple-syrup-with-a-kick texture, with hints of raisin and even nut.

All in all, quite a pleasant dining experience, and now that the place is a mile's walk from my house, it'll be a nice destination ... when it's nicer out.

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