HENRY is the latest bistro to open its doors in our neighborhood, where it seems a new spot opens every other day. This one is special in focusing on group dinning and plates that customers are encouraged to share. The creators of HENRY have created a beautiful and intimate space by adding modern touches — eclectic art and exposed light fixtures — to the historic bones of the famous LIFE headquarters building.
The iconic neoclassical building housing the restaurant was originally built by LIFE Magazine in 1895 and was its home until 1936. Many of the beautiful interior and exterior details of the architectural gem designed by Carrere and Hastings, have been preserved to bring this historically significant site back to life, pun unintended.
The new restaurant has a clubby atmosphere and its dishes are globally inspired classic plates. There are foie gras sliders, concord grape and pickled apple, burrata and kabocha squash, and truffle-ricotta or brussels-leek-duck-confit topped pizza. While you’re there try the drink specialties, including Mumbai Slugger (rye, spiced chai, and lemon) or Dirty Times (marrow-washed vodka, thyme, and vermouth).
As reported in Eater, the owner Stephen Hanson wants people to experience “value” in restaurants again. He expects people to share meals, and he anticipates check averages to be between $42 and $60 at HENRY. “When you get into the $60 price point and under, the quality and value for the price is not there,” Hanson says of the current dining scene. “There’s a big void. I think consumers are almost getting cheated by not having better quality for that price.”
Eater also reported that Hanson wants HENRY to be a neighborhood restaurant. The restaurateur, who’s had experience betting on neighborhoods before, predicts the area around the hotel will soon pop off with the help of places like his. “I think it’s going to be the new Meatpacking District,” he says.
Be on the lookout. In the coming weeks Gibson & Luce, a subterranean cocktail spot named after the former LIFE Magazine editors, is set to open downstairs. It is neighborhood lore that the bar was originally a speakeasy patronized by LIFE employees, including famous artists like Norman Rockwell and Charles Gibson.
Henry at LIFE Hotel
19 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
Sunday through Wednesday — Dinner, from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday — Dinner, from 5 p.m. to Midnight
Breakfast, lunch, and brunch will eventually be added.