Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cafe Henri - Less is More...

Cafe Henri - 10-10 50th Avenue, LIC, NY 11109
718.383.9315 7
Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave

Labor Day was the perfect opportunity to visit Cafe Henri, a quaint French cafe in Long Island City. Vicky and I were in the mood for light, brunch-ish food with a relaxed, charming atmosphere. Cafe Henri delivered on all fronts and we'll be back soon--especially considering how affordable it was. Tres bien.

The atmosphere at Cafe Henri was really lovely--low-key yet full of special touches. Interesting details such as rustic brick walls, eclectic photographs, artwork and a vintage chandelier paint a picture of an intimate French bistro.

While the space isn't small, it's pretty tightly packed with tables that are arranged close together. The vibe is social and cheery conversations bounce back and forth from all corners of the room. Pretension is so not the theme here--you can arrive dressed casually, bring your best friend, significant other or even your kids. The free-spirited atmosphere welcomes any and all patrons--for any occasion.

Vicky and I were impressed with the menu choices. They had a lot of options to choose from--both classic and inventive, hearty and healthy. Because we ate light, we saved room for an indulgent chocolatey dessert. Check it out...

Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Crepe - Loving both savory and sweet crepes, I was looking forward to this one with two of my favorite ingredients. It was wonderful--the crepe was browned nicely on the outside and while it was thin, it had enough substance so that I could taste its freshness. The goat cheese was melted beautifully, marrying tanginess with earthiness from the mushrooms. The crepe was paired with a fresh mixed green salad with Henri's signature vinaigrette of mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. This was a perfect combination for mid-day brunch.

Salade Henri - This was Vicky's dish and it was packed with flavor and tons of ingredients such as roasted chicken, grilled veggies, potatoes, ratatouille, tomato and mesculin salad. While I didn't taste it, Vicky said that she loved it. It suited her because it wasn't heavy on the stomach, yet it was hearty enough to fill her up. She enjoyed the newly tasted ratatouille and also appreciated the good quality ingredients used in this simple dish. I think that's where Henri's secret lies--using really great stuff and getting an exceptional result in return.

Chocolate Mousse - We were happy to have room for dessert and ordered a French classic--chocolate mousse. It was served in a simple metal dessert cup, sporting a rich brown color, topped with fresh fruit and mint. Once we dug in, we were in chocolate bliss--the consistency of the mousse was perfect, as it was thick initially but as smooth as butter when placed on the tongue. The fresh strawberries and orange helped bring out its semi-sweet flavor, adding a bit of juiciness too. I recommend this alongside a strong iced cappuccino.

Service and Cost:
The waitstaff at Henri was good but not spectacular. While our food arrived quickly, our waitress seemed flustered and unorganized. That very well could've been because of how busy the restaurant was but I'll have to judge again the next time that I visit. A nice aspect was that the waitstaff actually seemed French--it was similar to the service at Tournesol minus the cute male waiters.

The prices were reasonable. For our entire meal including dessert, an iced tea and an iced cappuccino, we paid a total of $35. Salads range between $7.50-$13.50, hearty crepes are in the neighborhood of $8-$9 and desserts are between $6-$7.

3 Mmmms


  1. I adore Cafe Henri. I highly recommend their Coq Au Vin and Steak au Poivre. Just absolutely delicious. We also love their sandwiches. The Croque Monsieur is out of this world.

  2. I wanted to get the Croque Monsieur--or Madame. Next time for sure!



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