One of the (many) perks of living in New York City is that there are outstanding restaurants on every street corner. Toss a pebble and you’ll hit an underground, chic cafe with adorable typography and avocado toast.
As such, we don’t flex our Bitch muscle as much because we have the luxury of dining at great places most of the time. However, every now and then we do have an experience that warrants a Bitchy critique. This is one of those times.
I really wanted to like Café Henrie. The decor is absolutely delightful–it’s a charming, intimate café conveniently right on Forsyth in the Lower East Side. Everything from the trendy tube lights to the pastel pink interior is just asking to be Instagrammed.
The café is airy and bright with a real neighborhood feel. A few locals were casually reading the paper over a cup of coffee so Robert and I had our choice of tables upon entering the establishment. We sat ourselves, but unfortunately it took about ten minutes or so before we were even greeted by our server and provided menus and water.
To be fair, only one server was working the floor during brunch this day, but there were only a few other diners. In general, the service was aloof and slow, not unlike our experience at another Parisian café nearby, Pardon My French.
Eventually, we were able to place our order. I started with a cappuccino, brewed with delicious Counterculture coffee, and Robert tried a fresh fruit juice. Both drinks were quality and refreshing, but took a painstakingly long time to arrive at our table.
The brunch menu is limited, but features simple dishes with a healthy focus including plenty of fresh fruit, microgreens, and superfoods like chia seeds.
We split the smoked salmon toast with a light layer of creamy cheese and fresh herbs on crunchy bread. We appreciated the generous portion of fish providing some fuel for the rest of our afternoon, but thought the dish wasn’t particularly exciting or inspired. #basic
Next we tried the baked eggs with veggies accompanied by greens and toast. This dish was an utter flop. The eggs completely stuck to the skillet, rendering about one-third of the plate uneatable. The eggs were dry and lacked flavor. Even the toast was a let down; we weren’t provided any butter or jam. We just received a few pieces of bread.
We left the restaurant feeling a bit deflated by the experience. The ambiance is great, but the service and most importantly, the food, was disappointing. I felt like I could have made either of our entrees myself at home, and probably would have done better on the eggs, which isn’t saying much as I’m an extremely novice Bitch in the Kitchen.
The Bitches say: D. Brunch wasn’t worth our time or money. If anything, grab a coffee and a Balthazar-sourced pastry for a killer Instagram shot, but only if you’re not in a rush.
116 Forsyth St.
New York, NY 10002
(Lower East Side)
Café Henrie serves breakfast every day beginning at 9 a.m.