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Last name: at Henry’s
Contact: 922 Queen Street West, henrystorento.ca, @henrys.to
Piece: Queen West West
Owners: Roxanne and Ben Hodson
Cooks: Kevin Le, Alex Fields
Seats: 51 inside
Accessibility: Not fully accessible

The food

The symbiosis between food and wine is the guiding principle of this Queen West cuisine. What’s available by the glass changes weekly, as does the menu; the kitchen consults closely with the front of house to ensure their offerings are consistent and hit base before each service. Chefs Le and Fields, alumni of Noma and Momofuku Kojin respectively, emphasize menu seasonality, working with suppliers like 100km Foods and Woodward Meats.

Chef Kevin Le

Expect unexpected flavor combinations, like skate wing in a lively pool of green coconut curry sprinkled with Kashmiri chili oil, heirloom tomato with browned butter plums and macerated strawberries with a beautiful chamomile stem infused oil. It’s fine dining, but without gratuitous complexity and well suited to be enjoyed with a glass of something special.

Lychee ceviche, aside from being really fun to say, is a solid vegan take on a classic. Refined in a lime-ginger-cilantro leche de tigre, the sweet scallop-like fruit is topped with avocado mousse, dill oil and Aleppo pepper oil. Togarashi-spiced grilled cassava chips top it all off. $18
Heirloom tomatoes and plums tossed in brown butter and grilled over charcoal seem like an obvious pairing. The salad is seasoned with a cilantro, dill and parsley infused herb oil and finished with crunchy pistachios. $16. (In the glass, a crisp 2021 Sancerre rosé, i.e. a rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir, from Lucien Crochet)
A jaw-dropping dish, Shrimp Toast combines homemade shrimp batter in a sesame-crusted Pullman bun, fried to perfection and served with lemongrass aioli, chopped cilantro stems and a dollop of strong mustard. It’s to die for. $14
The skate wing is lightly dredged in rice flour and pan-fried in butter before being placed on a basin of lightly spiced green coconut curry drizzled with a duo of cilantro and chilli oil from the Cashmere. A garnish of quick-marinated daikon and carrots, cilantro, Thai basil and crispy shallot brings it all together. $32. (In the glass, a spicy and full-bodied 2020 Côtes du Rhône from Domaine de Beaurenard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – a Côtes du Rhône par excellence)
The dessert consists of strawberries macerated in chamomile syrup, drizzled with a beautiful green oil made from chamomile stalks. The berries are adorned with almond sponge cake, whipped cream, white chocolate and crunchy strawberry meringue chips. $14
A whole spread
Owners Ben and Roxanne Hodson
The drinks

Co-owner Ben Hodson also runs Brix and mortar, a wine import agency that focuses on traditional, mostly old-world bottles from family owned vineyards. If you’re looking for a break from the funk of the natural wine scene, you’ll find it here. (Hodson has a thing for magnums, so it’s a solid place to throw a big party.) The large and growing list is likely to offer something new with every visit. And if you want to take your favorite bottle (or five) home, there’s a little bottle store next to the dining room.

Another star of the wine range is the 2020 Knebel Riesling. Bright, clean and pleasantly acidic with a dry finish, this is for people who think they don’t like Riesling
Next to the dining room, a small bottle shop sells a solid selection. Many bottles sold here individually are normally only available at the checkout.

A clean palette of cream, green and gold gives the room a warm glow accented by soft curves and whitewashed walls. At the front, a U-shaped marble bar comfortably accommodates 15 people, leading to a large dining room with mostly cozy benches. The bottle store next to the dining room doubles as a special event and tasting space.

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