Comfort Food Meets Gastronomy – Henri Saint Henri


June 25, 2015

in Food, Reviews, Sud-Ouest

Ever been HANGRY? You know, like that Snickers commercial; the zone we enter when we’re so hungry that we’re angry – Hangry. When you don’t know what you want to eat, but know exactly what you DON’T want to eat and shoot down every suggestion someone gives you, like the sheer thought of “pasta” is a curse they just casted on your family and bloodline for three generations. This is the worst feeling to have when walking into a Montreal restaurant for several reasons: 1) nothing will look appetizing. 2) Everything will look appetizing. 3) Your hanger would have already made its way over to your hippocampus skewing your cognitive emotional reasoning that you have an interior monologue while staring blankly at your server as they recite the day’s special wondering if they have a quota to fill because their buzzwords of “local”, “organic”, “seasonal” and “from the market” isn’t selling it. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. I recently hit up this spot in St. Henri that took on my hangriness, Henri Saint Henri.

The lunch menu was pretty straight forward and bitchslapped me out of my hangriness; three appetizers, and five mains, a variable, “like it or not, this is what we’re serving.”
The “Henri’s Burger”. The waitress asked how we’d like it cooked (pfft, like there’s some other option besides medium-rare) something not many places do unless they grind their own meat. Served on artisanal bread with lettuce, tomato, homemade ketchup and pickle with a side of fries. The meat was thick and juicy and the bun was substantial enough to sop up the runoff. Red leaf lettuce in a burger wouldn’t be my first choice – iceberg is king. There just isn’t enough delicately thin leaves of this kind of lettuce to provide that refreshing crunch in a burger, but it’s no big deal. It could be worse, like mesclun or *shiver* spring mix. The fries were great, crunchy and nicely seasoned.

I had the fish of the day, which turned out to be a sandwich…. (what? I know.) Funny because this is the second time where I’ve ordered a “something” of the day, and what was being served wasn’t actually said “thing” – see my review of Ma’tine where the “sandwich of the day” was actually a pizza. A shrimp roll served in artisanal bread with a side of salad. Yeah, shrimp can be lumped in with the ‘fish’ category, even though it’s a crustacean, seafood is seafood I guess. But if the fish of the day is a sandwich (roll), then what was the actual sandwich of the day?! I didn’t ask. It was light and fresh, something simple and appreciated on a hot summer day; toothsome micro-shrimp with celery, onion, chives in a mayo-based dressing. The salad was an after thought, the same red leaf lettuce and frisée with a light vinaigrette, meh.

We split an order of Henri’s doughnuts served with a salted caramel dipping sauce. This thing grabbed my hangriness by the balls and made it its bitch. We were told it would take about 15 minutes to prepare and it was well worth the wait. Large supple fluffy doughnuts, they had the potential of solving the conflict in the middle-east. These doughnuts definitely got me feeling some type of way.

Side salads are side salads, but shouldn’t be plate fillers. You’re five minutes from the Atwater Market, hit me with some seasonal greens. Not to be knit picky or anything. I’m not asking for a full SALAD salad, you know, hook a brother up with a tomato or something. Henri’s dinner menu looks interesting and I’m not hesitating to go back to try, especially on their newly opened terrasse. I asked the waitress if she could give me an overall description of the kind of food they serve. She said it’s somewhere between comfort food and gastronomy… I’ll call it, “Comtronomy” or… “Gas fort Cuisine.”

Henri Saint Henri
3734 Rue Notre-Dame O.
(514) 303-0777

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