Chez Henri Celebrates Sweet Sixteen
Chez Henri turned 16 this year. And a Sweet 16 it has been. Voted Best of Boston multiple times, this Cuban-inspired French bistro got a makeover in preparation for her big day. We were lucky enough to join in the celebration with cocktails, appetizers and dinner.
It’s always fun to celebrate with bubbles, so I started out with a 75 Rue Germain ($9, with Cava, Plymouth Gin, St. Germain and lemon juice, pictured left), Chez Henri’s tribute to the classic French 75. Effervescent and refreshing, this dressed up Spanish sparkling wine was easy to enjoy and something I will definitely be recreating at home. Jon ordered off the menu with a Pimm’s Cup (pictured right), which knowledgeable bartender Ari was happy to mix up for him. Our drinks were delicious, and easy to see how Chez Henri has been awarded with many bar and cocktail related-honors, including Best Caipirinha by Boston Magazine in 2010.
As we sipped on our cocktails, we wandered around the space newly-renovated by Jennifer Glickman. Gone is the dining room carpet, replaced with beautiful hard wood. Hand-blown glass globes by Michael Schunke hang above, providing sensual lighting and great conversation starters. The dining was set up for this Sweet Sixteen party, with large serving tables in the center and back of the dining room.
Appetizers were passed throughout the evening. From their bar menu were Conch Fritters (top left), served with a guava barbecue sauce. A Pressed Cuban with traditional slow-roasted pork (bottom left) was a highlight of the evening, exemplifying Chez Henri’s dedication to Cuban-inspired French cuisine. Although not on the bar menu, Arancini with rice and cheese (top left) were nicely fried with a crispy outer shell and creamy filling. Along with the arancini were Meatballs with Chipotle Aioli.
A family-style dinner was served to family, friends and guests part of the celebration. Seafood Paella was colorful and flavorful with sweet green peas balancing out the garlic flavors and seafood. A hot and juicy plate of pork was soon followed by a whole roasted pig!
To fully commemorate the occasion, Chef/Owner Paul O’Connell prepared himself for a celebratory toast to family, friends and staff, all of whom were equipped with a Periodista shot, a smaller version of one of their most popular cocktails with Triple Sec, Apricot Brandy, rum and lime juice. It was a nice end to a very enjoyable evening.