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“Excellent food with an expensive wine list”
Review of Henri - CLOSED

Henri
Price range: US$0 - US$50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Cross street: Madison
Description: From the creators of The Gage comes Henri — energetically American, French influenced. Heralded as an "instant classic", Henri offers fine dining without pretention. Under the direction of Executive Chef Chris Gawronski, Henri’s menu is influenced by the refining principles of classical cuisine. Innovative dishes like kampachi crudo join traditional favorites such as foie gras, steak tartare, Dover sole and ribeye au poivre. The tasting menu highlights the bounty of the season, accompanied by perfectly paired wines by sommelier Jason Wagner. The carefully curated wine list is almost exclusively biodynamic, while cocktails are both creative and classic. Reminiscent of a European salon, Henri provides an elegant respite from bustling Michigan Avenue.
Reviewed 27 February 2014

This has always been our favorite restaurant in Chicago. We went for my wife's birthday. We arrived a little early and decided to have a martini at the crowded bar while we waited. Shortly, our table was ready and we sat down and ordered a bottle of wine. Now, the wine. List categories is not like anything you have ever seen before, but I knew that. But, this time I was only able to find a decent bottle that we liked for $160. Must more than at previous times. It was a great bottle, and we both had the sturgeon plus appetizer. I paid the bill, and as we were putting our coats on at the door, the bartender stated that we had not paid our bar bill. He produced a dinner check for $250. I told him that it was not mine as I had just paid $350 plus a $60 tip for $410. I told him that I would have to back to the table and view the itemized bill that I just paid. The manager finally told me not to bother. The need a new bartender that is able to communicate with the waitstaff to insure correct transfer of charges. Accosting patrons at the door negates the entire experience. I'm sure that if Billy Lawless was there that night, and not been out of town, this probably would not have happened. Unfortunately, it is no longer our favorite place in Chicago .

Thank Jeff49085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (156)
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12 - 16 of 156 reviews

Reviewed 21 February 2014

Firstly, this is a beautifully appointed restaurant. They deserve 5 stars for that. It has a convenient location for tourists and businessmen alike. (Walking there at night is not recommended.) The menu is physically beautiful and has interesting items. The food is good, some dishes very good. The service is formal and polite with the hint of a friendly smile.
So why did the four of us feel that there was something not quite right? I have a sneaky suspicion that they are trying too hard to keep two kinds of customers, the under 35s and over 60s. The menu has the tradition foods of 1966 through 1988 (foie gras, steak tartare, steak au poivre, and Dover Sole (remember that?). These are interspersed with kampachi crudo, Spanish mackerel in coconut and 2010 fusions.
It is a good restaurant, and if I lived in Chicago, I would go there often. The tasting menu is $170 inclusive of paired wines. If you feel you need another taste of the wine, they do not quibble or charge. Not easy to do with high priced food and wine.
So what's wrong? Try it and see what you think. High Recommended.

1  Thank roemanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2014

If you like an "uptown" dining experience -- a sophisticated space, a creative take on menu favorites and quality preparation, this is your place. We showed up a few minutes early for an 8:00 pm res. and luckily found a place at the small bar just inside the entrance. There's no entrance area, so patrons waiting for a table can find themselves in an awkward position. After an acceptable waiting period -- fifteen minutes or so -- the hostess gave us a choice of two tables, one which had recently been named "the city's most romantic table" by Chicago Magaize.

The magazine was right. The table was a banquette just inside the door with a commanding view of Michigan Avenue. Perfect for people watching. We were seated, ordered a second cocktail -- the specialty drink menu is superb -- and ordered dinner.

The somewhat limited menu features French-inspired, creative takes on fine dining favorites. I ordered the lamb chops and asked for a garlic béarnaise sauce on the side that had also been served with my appetizer. Our highly professional server readily complied with this request -- acknowledging that béarnaise is often a lamb accompaniment in many of France's better restaurants. His compliance also demonstrated the restaurant's refreshing lack of pretentiousness... (I'm terribly sorry, sir... the chef's intentions are to serve the lamb 'sans' béarnaise...").

My only quibble was with the wine list. It had obviously been carefully 'curated' (I hate that word, but in this case it does apply) and included some interesting options, skewed towards the French. But the prices were "tres cher." In fact, I only found one or two selections under $100. Yikes. Even most of New York's better joints know enough to target a lower median price point. Happily, the wines by the glass, still expensive, kept the wine tab under $150.

We liked Henri. It has a big city energy, excellent food, professional service, and if you're lucky enough to get a window table, a terrific Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park view. But those wine prices... you might consider inviting your uncle Sheldon, the investment banker, along...

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Thank Freddyt64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Henri is a solid choice for a good dining in Chicago. Not many vegetarian options - I had the salad and the ravioli filled with butternut squash. Both were good. Note that the current menu is different than the one posted online, so if there's a certain dish you are counting on, make sure to call them first. My carnivore other half had the caviar flight and really enjoyed it. I have to say, the spread was quite impressive (as it should have been, given the price point), with capers and scallion and creme fraiche and tons of miniature blinis. We ordered the souffle (you have to order it with your entree since it takes awhile to bake). It wasn't to our liking -- too strong of a coffee flavor. Wines were good. Nice, quiet ambiance. Service was pleasant. And except for the caviar, prices were pretty reasonable for a fine dining spot. Overall, a very solid choice for a nice dinner out.

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Thank Sunny77777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

I dined here on a Friday evening with three friends during Chicago restaurant week and would not be in a hurry to return.

The menu was innovative and the coq au vin aws a tasty modern update of the French classic, and the chocolate mousse with salted caramel was a special treat. However we ran into a number of flaws one should not encounter in what aspires to be a top Michigan Avenue restaurant.

One of us got a heavily salted salad and hypothesized that some accidentally held the salt shaker over it too long in the kitchen. To their credit, the restaurant offered a replacement and comped the recipient a glass of wine. Other problems involved poorly trained wait staff who reached across the table awkwardly to serve, brushed crumbs onto the floor, and had to be asked for some service items that one would expect to find on the table. We gave feedback to the manager, who was appropriately concerned and may do some retraining of the wait staff.

The staff seemed genuinely attentive, but inept in several respects. Perhaps there are too many new people needing training, In this particular instance the errors eclipsed the ambiance and food.

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Thank Fontek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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