Chex Henri serves French food with a Cuban flair. I’ve been to Chez Henri twice before, about 7 years ago. The first time I was so unimpressed with the service I wrote a letter to the management. They were polite and prompt with their apologies and a gift certificate. I returned with the gift certificate and was unimpressed by the food, so I never bothered to return, despite all the raves about their famed Cuban sandwich. But my friends from work wanted to go there for our post holiday celebration (This is the group that usually wants to go to Dali) and so I acquiesced, just happy to not be going to Dali, again.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I had a sweet clam risotto to start. The rice was perfectly cooked and the clams were sweet, tender and briny. I really enjoyed it. I also tasted the lobster bisque which had a deep lobster flavor and the French onion soup which needed a more robust beef broth.
My entrée was a seared duck breast with spätzle. It was fabulous, my duck was tender and flavorful and I loved the orange pomegranate glaze on it. The spätzle was also delicious.
Azelene had to send back her scallops with braised oxtails as the oxtails were extremely salty. I think they over reduced them and the salt was just very concentrated. I sampled the paella which was generous with seafood and the steak frites which were also done correctly. Carol got the $39 prie fixe menu and chose the pork loin. I thought it was quite good; there was smokiness from the wood grill and sweetness with the cider glaze.
We all shared a mocha brulee and a warm almond cake for dessert. I wasn’t blown away, but both were well executed and I enjoyed both.
We had great service – a member of our party showed up 90 minutes late and they were gracious and accommodating about the situation. I think that I might return to finally sample the Cuban sandwich that I have been hearing about all these years.
Sweet Clam Risotto