Henrietta's Table

Henrietta's Table

I just don’t have a lot to say about Henrietta’s Table. It’s okay, not too exciting, not bad enough to get worked up about. I ate there a few times when I lived in Harvard Square, and I remember it as a good place to take a mixed group of eaters (e.g. allergies, vegetarians, meat eaters) because the food is pretty inoffensive and the menu is varied and the bread and desserts are good and it’s not too expensive and the service is decent and so on. I guess some of that’s still true, but I was disappointed to find that in my three year hiatus from Henrietta’s, the food has declined slightly. Not significantly, but the bread is more generic than I remember and the Barbeque Stout Braised Elysian Field Farm’s Pulled Lamb Shank with bacon and feta, which has a promising, or at least long, description, was underseasoned (though Carlo thought it was seasoned well, I disagree) and the House Smoked and Grilled Free Range Duck Breast was slightly overcooked. And finally, I was extremely disappointed to find that my dessert was bad. I got chocolate bread pudding, and considering that I love all desserts, especially chocolate, and especially bread pudding, this should have been great. The ice cream that came with it was pretty good, but the bread pudding looked like a cow chip and, though it didn’t taste as bad as I imagine manure would, I’m not sure it was significantly better. It was dry and not very chocolatey, and may have been scraped from the bottom of a pan.

The mediocrity of the food was all especially disappointing in light of Henrietta’s claim that its “mission” is to “deliver the freshest available food, through proper cooking techniques and excellent service” and it has farmlike scenes and fresh vegetables all over the website. The first part of the mission might have been achieved, and the last part is true, the service is good. The food is just a bit boring. The highlight of the meal was actually the wine, a 2006 bottle of Seven Deadly Zins, which was one of the cheaper selections on the red wine list, coming in at $38. I generally don’t like Zinfandel, but this one was special, with a finish that tasted exactly like cinnamon toast. It’s not a particularly complex wine, but definitely a delicious one.

In sum, Henrietta’s Table is fine. You probably won’t have a great meal there but you certainly won’t have a bad one. It’s generally inoffensive, that is, unless you find it offensive to spend $20 on a plate of food that is just okay.

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