Hotspot: Bar Henry

Hotspot: Bar Henry

Within Bar Henry’s intimate, narrow subterranean space on West Houston, look for exposed brick walls and a pressed-tin ceiling warmed by brass chandeliers and sconces. It has all the elements of a cozy, blissful bistro: Classic American food such as chops, roasted chicken and a juicy “Hamburger Henry” with caramelized onions. Check. It also has an extensive selection of wine and live jazz. But comfort food isn’t the only option here. Dishes like Chicken Liver Mousse with Fig Marmalade and Chanterelle Risotto drizzled with truffle oil can sate the staunchest of foodies.

Bar Henry has also gained a reputation as a quirky place to drink. Sommeliers are said to haunt the bar during their days off, thanks to an accessible and reasonably priced list of mostly Old World wines, compiled by wine director, Russell Lichtenthal. In particular, any bottle on the 150-label “Market List” is available as a half-pour (and at half price). And once those bottles have been opened for half-pours, the remainder of the bottle is available to everyone at the bar by the glass.  Watch as these bottles are scrawled in wax pencil on the mirror across from the bar. They disappear quickly.

In addition to the regular list of quality cocktails, keep an eye out for limited-time special libations created by head mixologist, Don Circle. Having 15 years of hospitality experience tucked into his apron, Circle layers artistry with liquor. Some drinks, like the hot buttered rum flow with the seasons; others, like the Cinco de Mayo “Guacamole Margarita,” made with an avocado-guava purée and garnished with house-made chips, are powered purely by whimsy.

To watch Bar Henry’s mixologist, Don Circle, create a Guacamole Margarita, click here.

Published on June 1, 2011