Henry’s is a small bar located in the Harbor View Hotel, behind their Water Street Restaurant. The menu at Henry’s is mostly appetizers and small-plates along with a few sandwiches.
Like many bars these days, Henry’s makes a version of Belgian Fries. They are available flavored with either truffle and Parmesan or sea salt and vinegar. According to The One And Only Belgian Fries Website, to qualify as “Belgian Fries”, fries must meet the following criteria: “1. freshly cut and irregularly shaped 2. cooked (fried) twice 3. fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside 4. a distinct potato taste 5. at least 10 mm thick 6. preferably served in a paper cone” We ordered them with the truffle and Parmesan and found them to meet most of these requirements. They looked to be freshly cut and were certainly not regularly shaped. It was hard to tell if they had been double fried, but we’re going to assume they were. The fries were fluffy on the inside, but not quite crispy on the outside, except for the tiniest ones. The distinct potato taste was there, as was the paper. Unfortunately, we left our micrometer at home, so we were unable to verify the exact thickness of the fries, but they seemed thick enough to us. Served with a garlic aioli, Henry’s fries may not meet these exacting guidelines for “Belgian Fries”, but we still found them plenty tasty.
The Painted Hills Beef Carpaccio was served with garlic aioli, peppercress, sliced Parmesan cheese and a very thin crostini. The peppery flavor of the greens paired nicely with the rich, well-seasoned beef and the crostini added some crunchy texture to the dish. With the creamy, citrusy aioli and the slightly sharp cheese, the carpaccio had a great range of flavors and was much lighter than expected.
Served on a layer of coarse salt crystals and wood chips, the Grilled Edgartown Oysters look incredible when they land on the table. They have a fantastically smoky aroma with a hint of sweet spice. The spicy house butter that comes with them has a bit of heat, a bit of acid and deep earthy flavor (perhaps Worcestershire sauce?) that sits well with the saltiness of the oysters.
The bartenders at Henry’s serve some great drinks, like the Rouge Goose, which contains pomegranate liquor, triple sec, pineapple juice and Grey Goose vodka. We also enjoyed the Grand Margarita, made from Hornitos Repasado tequila, fresh lime juice and Grand Marnier.
While it may not be the most traditional, the Lobster Roll at Henry’s is good enough to make us forget our strict New England rules about such things. The Bun is buttered, toasted (KD would say “griddled”) and then filled with large chunks of sweet lobster meat. The break from tradition comes from the addition of capers, which add small pops of bright, briny flavor to the roll, and from the Remoulade that holds everything together without being over-powering.
A dish that we’ve ordered multiple times is the Katama Chicken Thigh, which rests on a bed of mashed potatoes and comes with Mennonite dumplings and a pan gravy. The chicken is perfectly done, with crispy skin and a moist, juicy interior. The thigh meat is dark and full-flavored, with a rich, mouth coating feel. This is a dish for people who actually appreciate some real chicken flavor. The dumplings are nicely seared on the outside, and have a pleasantly doughy chew to them, just like your Mennonite grandma used to make. With the mashed potatoes and the hearty, salty gravy, this is not a light summer snack (although we ordered it multiple times over the summer).
Our favorite dessert is the Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake with fresh blueberries. It’s not too sweet, with a big lemon flavor that’s balanced by a dollop of crème fraiche ice cream. Topped with sliced blueberries and a candied lemon wheel, it has a variety of bright fruit flavors and a smooth custard-like texture that gives way to a crumbly cookie bottom.
Here are some books about the Vineyard…
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