Husband’s birthday is only five days before mine and our anniversary is sandwiched right in the middle. So we had a nice celebratory dinner with our family at one of our favorite restaurants, Henrietta’s Table in Harvard Square. Henrietta’s Table is famous for their brunch, but it is an equally appealing dinner option too. This is another great Cambridge restaurant that celebrates local produce, like T.W.Food.
Henrietta’s Table is unpretentious and inviting and the food is great. The dining room is rustic yet modern and simple. As you enter the restaurant, there is a bar on the left and on the right is a little gift shop featuring toys, books and other fun things related to barnyard animals, especially the pig. The dining area is spacious and I especially appreciate that the tables are not on top of one another.
We started with drinks and a cheese plate. I was really surprised that they don’t have any hard ciders on offer. The only cider-like drinks they have are apple ice wines (very syrupy and sweet dessert wine). Instead, I had a fall foliage martini, which was fantastic. Despite the maple liqueur, the drink was dry rather than sweet. The pumpkin seed rim was a nice touch.
The cheese menu is great and a nice alternative to ordering the standard appetizers of salads or soup. All the cheeses are locally sourced. I ordered cheddar and a firm goat cheese. These cheeses were served with apricots, local jam, toast, almonds and grapes, so there was a lot to pick at. I was surprised to see that the cheeses on the menu were mostly harder, milder cheeses. Maybe that is just the kind of cheese we make in this area?
I have been to Henrietta’s Table several times and have always found the staff to be accommodating and helpful with my food allergy. This trip was no different. The staff is always willing to go back and check on various items. Many of their menu items are naturally gluten-free. When I informed my waiter of my allergy and he immediately knew what I was talking about and said to order away, that almost everything on the menu was ok (except the lamb) and if it wasn’t, the dish could be modified to make it suitable.
It’s so nice to look at a menu and see options rather than restrictions. I found it hard to make my choice with so many great options, but I eventually decided on a special: grilled swordfish with butternut squash puree and parsnip chips. Actually, I think most of the table chose this dish. Husband ordered a barbequed lamb shank. I think I tried a bite before tasting the ale that must have been used to make it, so after that I kept to stealing his mashed potatoes.
The swordfish was amazing. The fish was perfectly cooked. I like that they keep the seasoning simple with just salt and pepper, but I would have liked a little spice to contrast with the sweetness of the butternut squash puree and the earthy parsnip chips. I loved the dish and would like to make something like it again here at home. We had a bottle of Riesling with dinner, which was great, very crisp and clean.
After dinner we ordered some dessert. My brother and sister in law had the pumpkin whoopee pies, which looked amazing. My parents had a root beer float which was fantastic. Husband and I opted to share a lemon sorbet, which was super tart. I liked it a bit more than Husband did.
For gluten-free diners, your options at dessert are more limited than dinner, but that is to be expected. The good news is that they do have a nice range of dessert wines and ice creams and sorbets to offer.
It was a fantastic meal. I would really recommend Henrietta’s Table to any gluten-free diner.