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Friday, March 30, 2012

Henrietta's Table was Fresh and Fantastic

Henrietta's Table is one of my favorite restaurant's in the Boston area. It's simple yet the food is outstanding. Their schtick is that the food is as local as possible and as fresh as possible. Their restaurant week menu is perfect, essentially for lunch you get to pick two or three courses for $15.12 or $20.12. Dinner is set up the same way, but this restaurant week, I went to lunch with my family. The restaurant is bright and airy and for the warmer months, there is an outside patio.

We were all famished when we walked in exactly on time for our 1:30pm reservation on Friday. We had beat the indoor lunch rush, but the patio was hopping. Before we ordered, the waitress brought over the most delicious bread. It was whole wheat, cranberry nut and a take on white bread with fresh butter. The bread was made in house or at Pain D'Avignon (one of my other favorites).

My dad and I both ordered the tomato soup which was as my dad put it "the best tomato soup of his life." The soup was vegan, which meant that it was vegetable based and did not have any cream. I will admit that I detest cream based soups, they are too heavy for me, so I agree with my dad when he says the soup was fantastic. It was zestier than a tomato sauce and had celery and other vegetables. I was trying to save room for the main course so I did not finish my soup, but it did not go to waste at the table.

My sister ordered the portobello mushroom on a bed of spinach with cheese on top. She loved it. I was glad I ordered the tomato soup because it was more unique. I however appreciated that the mushroom appetizer used local cheese on top. My mom opted out of the appetizer to save room for some chocolate sorbet.

For entrees, I ordered a chopped salad. It was perfect, with lettuce, avocado, bacon, tomato and house smoked turkey. I chose to get the lemon vinaigrette on it because I am not a blue cheese dressing fan. I loved how simple yet delicious the salad was. As I have mentioned before, I think salads taste so much better when they are chopped and this was great with a little bit of everything in each bite. When I come back for lunch another time, I will get this salad.

My sister and mom ordered the scrod. It was very fresh and encrusted in ritz crackers. There were also potatoes and lemon. The dish was again simple and tasty. There is something very satisfying about a fresh piece of fish.

My dad ordered a salad. He loves anything with chicken wherever he goes and likes nothing more than a good healthy salad for lunch, especially since this justifies a decadent dessert. My dad ordered the rotisserie chicken salad. It was a simple green salad with the same lemon vinaigrette dressing I had on mine. The chicken was flavorful and the salad was light and left enough room for dessert.

In case you have not guessed from the previous blog posts, I love dessert. I wait for it, I sometimes just seek it out. If it was appropriate, I would probably just live off of chocolate, but then I would not keep my girlish figure. Henrietta's Table has fantastic homemade dessert that leaves me wishing I had more room in my stomach. My mom was geared up for her chocolate sorbet which was good. Part of the decision to have sorbet was around avoidance of dairy. It was tasty but I think she would have preferred a dairy free fruit pie because that's her favorite and Henrietta's fruit tart, which my dad, sister and I shared was delicious.

It was a  small pie with apples and cranberry and vanilla ice cream (we swapped the two ice creams after the picture). I am extremely critical of fruit pies because I have an apple crisp recipe I often whip up which is simple and perfect. Henrietta's Table's fruit pie was to die for. The crust was flaky, the inside was still a little bit crunchy and it was not too sweet. Maybe I will have to get their cook book to learn their secret. We also got a chocolate bread pudding to share with coffee ice cream instead of vanilla because we wanted to try another kind of their homemade ice cream. The bread pudding was incredible. I think it was brioche drenched in chocolate baked with perfection. It came with a banana and caramel topping. My favorite dessert combination is banana and chocolate or banana and coffee and here, we had both! My suggestion to you is if you only have enough for one course at Henrietta's table that you run as fast as you can to get their bread pudding. Just think, while you are running, you are burning some calories.

Overall, Henrietta's Table was fantastic. I can't wait to come back again. I had never been for lunch before and I like that it is the same great food at a slightly lower price point. I enjoy that they treat restaurant week as an opportunity to showcase all that they can do. Their outstanding job with restaurant week leaves me hungry with anticipation for the next meal I will have there. In the meantime, I may stop by just for the bread pudding.

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