The Henry opened in Arcadia in late 2013 and is already a neighborhood hangout. I had the opportunity to dine there recently and fell in love with the food, the staff and the overall concept. I will say that my meal was complimentary, but my server did not know I was there writing about the restaurant, so I had a chance to see the service from the perspective of any diner who steps foot in the restaurant. I always love slipping in below the radar like that.
Fox Restaurant No. 15
The Henry is the fifteenth restaurant concept developed by Phoenix restaurateur Sam Fox over the past 15 years. (If you didn’t have a chance to read it, check out the interview I did with Sam Fox for the October 2013 issue of Uptown.) I am a huge Fox fan, so I went expecting the typical excellent service and food I get at each of his restaurants. I was not disappointed.
The Henry is downstairs from Fox Restaurant Concepts’ home office (Fox calls it the “Big Kitchen”), just east of 44th Street on Camelback Road. Phoenix native Chris Wolven, who has experience in fine dining here in Arizona as well as at eateries in Colorado and Napa Valley, is the Executive Chef.
The restaurant design
The Henry feels like an eclectic home. I love the open kitchen, which was designed so the restaurant can offer cooking classes. It gives you unobstructed views of the chefs in action. Throughout the dining room, there are touches of home—like sofas, lamps and shelves filled with books—along with industrial accents. I think it has a sort of steampunk vibe that I find extremely appealing. I also love the front patio. It’s huge and has great views of Camelback Mountain.
Two great bonus features are the Henry Lounge and the XV Coffee Bar & Larder. The lounge, filled with couches and overstuffed chairs, is perfect for meeting clients, having an evening cocktail, or even sipping coffee and taking advantage of the free WiFi.
The XV Coffee Bar & Larder is a European-style café serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and fresh baked goods. There’s a take-out window so you can grab coffee or lunch on the go. After dinner, I had what was probably the single best coffee drink ever. My Go North was espresso, cocoa and cream served neat and very cold. Click here for a copy of the XV Coffee Bar menu.
The Henry is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was there for dinner and the food was tasty and creative without being “frou-frou.” We started out the evening by placing a drink order. The Henry has a full bar and superb wine list and beer choices, but I opted for one of their crafted cocktails, which are a house specialty (check out the cocktail menu here). Like the restaurant itself, the cocktails are a fun blend of traditional with a modern twist.
I ordered the Club House Margarita, which is made with Casamigos blanco tequila, Combier original (the original Triple Sec), and smashed lime. My husband ordered the Upstate Gentleman, made with Bulleit bourbon, Becherovka (an herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic), lemon and Ommegang “Hennepin” beer.
We started our meal with an order of Prairie Breeze Cheddar Popovers. These light-as-air little goodies were served hot and the steam escaped with the delightful smell of bread and cheese as I opened mine. They are served with two house-made butters, a fleur de sel and a smoked ham butter. I wasn’t a fan of the ham butter personally, but the salted butter on the hot popovers were beyond amazing.
For an appetizer, I ordered the smoked Norwegian Salmon at the waiter’s suggestion. It was a great call. The smoked fish was served on top of crunchy potato hash browns with a bit of crème fraîche and a touch of fresh, peppery arugula. I could eat that appetizer every single day. It provided a perfect bite and left me eager to get to the main course.
The main menu includes some great salad choices (the chopped salad looked amazing and the guest eating told me it was one of the best she’d had anywhere) and some unique sandwiches. Because we were there for dinner, I went for the entrées and ordered the Korean Style Skirt Steak. It was tender and had a subtle sweet soy flavor that I enjoyed. As with any skirt steak, you need to order it medium rare or the meat will be tough and chewy. It came as ordered and was tender and full of flavor.
I was surprised that my meat-and-potatoes husband ordered the roasted half chicken, but it was amazing. The chicken was tender and juicy with a touch of rosemary. His side of kale and apple slaw was one of the more unique tastes of the evening. It was fresh and had a nice crunch. The mac and cheese was predictably decadent and creamy. You can check out the main menu here.
I skipped dessert for the coffee I mentioned above. I seriously crave that coffee and it will be perfect on a hot afternoon this summer.
Overall, I love The Henry. It has the style and class that I’ve come to expect from Sam Fox’s restaurants. The welcoming staff are as much a part of the experience as the fresh, locally sourced dishes. Parents will be pleased that there is a kids’ menu that includes options other than chicken strips and fries (seriously, the kids can order broccolini at The Henry).
I can see The Henry becoming a vital part of the Arcadia community, especially with the coffee bar, welcoming lounge, reliable free WiFi, ample parking and that amazing front patio. I am looking forward to attending a cooking class there some day.
XV Coffee opens daily at 6:30 a.m.
The Henry hours:
Mon – Thur 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
4455 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018