Arriving at Henrietta’s Table, on the second floor of the Charles Hotel (Cambridge, MA), you are greeted by a small gift shop area reminiscent of Midwestern farmhouse restaurants. Items in the shop include a variety of stuffed pigs, and other pig-themed toys and accessories. The dining area itself is a large, spacious room, bordered on one side by a long open kitchen. It’s as if you’ve walked into an upscale, larger version of what might be your grandmother’s farm kitchen. In fact, the two tables nearest the kitchen are wooden farm tables with a terrific view into the kitchen. Sundays through Thursdays, Henrietta’s Table offers a “Yard Sale” deal: two courses for $28 or 3 courses for $35.
The low-down on food
Our meal kicked off with a complimentary basket of breads: cranberry-nut, some sort of white bread, and slices of brown bread with a hint of malt flavour. Unfortunately, the bread was not warm, so we dipped it in our soup. The hearty corn and fish chowder, with bacon and chunks of potato, was served in a homey cast iron bowl.
The smoked and grilled duck breast was nicely cooked. The seared bass was served with a delicate polenta cake and radish salad, with a sweetness and texture that complemented the fish. Side dishes arrived in generous portions – they are definitely meant for sharing. Sweet roasted beets, perfectly crispy roasted potatoes, and savory wilted greens were all satisfying.
For dessert, the chocolate banana bread pudding smelled intensely of chocolate, served with caramelized bananas, caramel, and vanilla bean ice cream. I’m sure at least one other diner at a nearby table agreed that this was absolutely delicious – she followed her first bread pudding dessert with a bread pudding sundae – pudding layered with ice cream in a tall glass, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce!
Henrietta’s Table serves creative dishes with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, in a comfortable and spacious dining room. You’ll get the best value with the “Yard Sale” special.