1.20.2008

chez henri

I haven't really mentioned any restaurant meals here, not because I don't go out to eat (I do! often), but because I like to have pictures of the food I mention here and I don't like taking out my camera when I'm at a restaurant. BUT! last week a french-cuban fusion restaurant in cambridge called chez henri had a special 5-course vegan dinner at a reasonable prix fixe, so a bunch of us BVAers went. Quite a few people took pictures, so I didn't feel quite so conspicuous.

Our meal started off with glasses of vegan wine and rolls with some red-pepper bean dip that I didn't take a picture of because I didn't eat it. But the servers informed me that dip was the only nightshade I'd have to worry about that evening. So hooray!

First course:
Chiogga Beet Carpaccio
with baby argula and a pine nut mayo
I'd never heard of carpaccio before this meal, so I can't tell you how thinly sliced beets compare to beef, but it tasted good. The pine nut mayo, though grossly titled (couldn't they have gone with sauce? dressing? hollandaise? "mayo" sounds so diner-y), was salty and added a nice heaviness to a really light dish.

Second Course:
Roasted Blue Hubbard Squash Soup
with jerusalem artichokes, smoked pepitas and micro green salad
My friends and I laughed at how micro the greens were. A tasty soup. And you know how I feel about jerusalem artichokes.

Third Course:
Truffled Salsify Pappardelle
with foraged mushrooms, edamame, toasted almonds and herbs
Horizons expanded again! Not only had I learned what carpaccio is, but now I tried salsify for the first time! It was radishy - not bad, but a little chewy for pasta. My biggest victory with this one was that it had truffle oil, which I've been wanting to try for ages - yum. And the whole "foraged mushrooms" thing made me feel special, like someone went out into the woods hunting for mushrooms just for my plate. PLUS, I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but it had a FOAM on top. Just like in Top Chef! I actually think foam on food is icky looking, but it was exciting anyway.

Fourth Course:
Tofu au Poivre
with romanesco cauliflower quinoa pilaf, dinosaur kale and grilled sherry-glazed melon
A few of us found the tofu to be rather unsavory. It tasted like they opened a box of mori-nu tofu, covered it with pepper, then heated it. Done! BUT the pilaf and kale were incredible. And grilled watermelon? cool concept.

Fifth Course:
Mexican "Chocolate" Banana Tart
with celtic salted caramel and toasted maple walnuts
I'm quoting the menu on the titles. I don't know why "chocolate" is in quotation marks. Everything in the tart was delicious (especially the walnuts... I could've eaten a plate full of 'em), but the shell itself was rock hard. It had a tasty coconutty white sauce on top that they didn't mention in the title. (At least they didn't call it "coconut mayo" - hee.)

This was one of the swankest meals I've ever had.

While the normal menu at Chez Henri isn't very vegan friendly, a few of my friends have said that if you call ahead, they will prepare delicious vegan food - one of my friends even said she and her husband got to choose between a 7-course or a 5-course vegan meal one night!

9 comments:

Romina said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooooh. Looks like you had a delicious dinner!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, that DOES look quite swanky; I don't think I've ever had such a fancy meal, vegan or otherwise! The dessert looks and sounds so yummy, and the baked watermelon sounds... well... interesting! I love the restaurant name, too, because it reminds me of my dog, Henry :o).

Liz² said... Best Blogger Tips

swanky dinosaur kale! lol, I had to look up salsify, too. :D

Grilled watermelon sounds it would be awesome-but-weird, but all in all your meal looks really cool! foamy, even. And sweet with the not having to deal with nightshades too much, that's a stroke of luck!

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! Whereabouts in Cambridge is this? I would LOVE to go there! I've been trying to find different vegan friendly restaurants in and around Boston that aren't strictly Asian cuisine. Is this place uber expensive? Oh, and lastly, is there parking? :)

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, and to answer your question- I thought burdock tasted like dirt, even after being simmered in tons of spices and veggie broth for an hour. :-/

Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks quite fancy!! I agree the tofu looks straight out of the box, but everything else looks wonderful! And thanks for the tip about calling ahead, next time I"m in Boston visiting family I'll hav to remember that!

VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

a vegan pre-fixe??? how divine!!! such a lovely presentation of each course!!

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

It's too bad that the tofu in it was disappointing because that watermelon dish looks just incredible! I always feel like such a dork pulling my camera out at restaurants too!

Emilie said... Best Blogger Tips

wow! amazing looking meal. i'll really have to go there sometime and get my fancy on. i also love oleana for fanciness--they're another call ahead place, but the produce and variety and spices are out of control good! i'm also holding out to have fancy b-day dinner at upstairs on the square, which i've heard does great vegan stuff, again, if you call ahead.