2745 Broadway @ 105th Street
Boasting Broadway's largest outdoor cafe, Henry's is one of my favorite restaurants on the Upper West Side above 96th Street in New York City. This beautiful Arts & Crafts style restaurant . . .
has an extensive American bistro menu but on Christmas Eve they offer a Feast of Seven Fishes. A tradition originated by Catholics in southern Italy, it celebrates the waiting of Christ's birth at midnight. Some American-Italian families celebrate with 9, 11 and even 13 courses of fish! I'm not Catholic nor Italian but I couldn't resist the temptation to drop by and participate in all the celebration. Here's a look at their Christmas Eve menu from last night.
Hotel Note: Anyone in search of a hotel in this area check out: The Excelsior Hotel.
You could also enjoy a wine tasting with their special menu. And in the spirit of the event, I promptly chose to order from their usual menu. I know, I know, I even surprised myself. Boo, I'm boring. But it was yummy. For an appetizer, I ordered their fried calamari with spicy tomato sauce and a velvety ancho chili aioli.
The squid was fresh, tender, and the dipping sauces had just the right amount spice and punch to them. My dining partner ordered the baked ricotta meatballs in a San Marzano tomato sauce with Tuscan toast.
The meatballs were melt-in-your mouth deliciousness with a hint of something . . . maybe it was fennel or tarragon? But whatever the secret ingredient was, it was terrific. For an entrée I ordered the NY strip steak with Brussels sprouts, danish blue cheese butter and french fries.
A perfect medium-rare, it had that sought after flame-broiled smokiness that paired beautifully with the danish blue cheese. The Brussels sprouts were sauteed just enough, not overdone - they still had a bite to them and the french fries were crunchy golden shoestrings of heaven.
And my friend ordered the orecchiette with free-range chicken-fennel sausage, caramelized granny smith apple, broccoli rabe, and roasted red pepper confit swimming in a shallow pool of rosemary jus. Topped off with freshly shaved pecorino, this was Italian comfort food at its best. Sharing from each other's plates, we seriously had no room for dessert. They have everything from sorbets and profiteroles to Henry's ice cream sandwiches and triple chocolate cookies. So, I'll just have to go back again very soon and report back to you.
I'm so glad I didn't wear my blue and white checked shirt.
Buon Appetito and Happy Holidays!