My wife Jun and I go on a double date from time to time with my former co-worker and her husband (an avid foodie) to check out new restaurants. Ever since the couple had a baby, it has become a bit more challenging to find a place that could work for the next restaurant trips. The couple lives in Brooklyn Heights so I asked them if there is any restaurant in their neighborhood that is convenient for them to meet up for dinner before the summer’s end. The foodie husband said Henry’s End which I had never heard of until that point was his all-time Brooklyn Heights favorite. I was certainly intrigued and took on their offer to come visit Brooklyn Heights to visit the restaurant. When Jun and I walked in, I had an impression at the moment that I was inside a dive bar with exposed bricks and a very quaint décor. Not that the venue’s vibe really matters for me; Jun and I dislike places with fancy settings but food that turns out to be underwhelming more than places with humbling settings but have very delicious food. And surprisingly the food at Henry’s End turned out to be quite good.
The menu at Henry’s End is a loose group of New American dishes with locally sourced ingredients and influences from different parts of the country. The dishes here tend to be on a more rustic side. Jun wished the sauce were slightly less sweet, but still very much enjoyed the barbecue ribs whose texture was more or less perfect. The shrimp sautéed with spicy Andouille sausage was also very nice for an appetizer, with a Southern style that was hearty and satisfying. Jun, always a duck meat aficionado, ordered the duckling honey-ginger that the foodie husband highly recommended. I stole some bites from the duckling and it was cooked quite aptly to give the texture that the duck meat must have to shine at a dinner table.
On the other hand, the main dish that I had ordered, veal scallopine sautéed with roasted garlic, lemon, capers and basil, was a little bit too aggressive in the seasoning department even though the meat itself was gently prepared. Don’t skip desserts at Henry’s End! You have two different versions of mud pie, and the Mrs. Mud Pie version that Jun chose was absolutely decadent with vanilla and Heath Bar Crunch ice creams on a Graham Cracker crust, topped with hot butterscotch sauce. Same goes for the delightful Persian lime pie, consisting of fresh lime pastry cream on a Graham Cracker crust. While neither dish looked too healthy, we didn’t mind feeling a little bit guilty and promised each other that we will put extra efforts into our gym classes for the rest of the week.
I have no idea how difficult it is to snag a reservation at Henry’s End but the restaurant was mostly packed with local Brooklynites during our Wednesday meal so booking in advance seems like a good idea. As noted above, the décor and atmosphere of the restaurant might scare you off a little but I suggest that you get comfortable with embracing the old-school vibe of this place. The wine list at Henry’s End was quite a surprise; I didn’t expect to see so many bottles, many of them from California, from older vintages all the way to the 20th century at bargain prices. There are also daily wines by the glass available that you should take advantage of. Henry’s End is one of those restaurants that if you live in the neighborhood you would want to come back again and again for a reliable dining experience. Jun and I certainly would love to come back again to try other dishes and explore the wine list.
KenScale: 8.0/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.0/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 8.0/10
Address: 44 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Telephone: (718) 834-1776