TravelNoise: Hendriks, New York City
Admit it — every time you hear about another American restaurant opening in midtown, you can’t help but think “What’s different about this one?” That, or you’re waiting for the server to bring your drinks in another mason jar. However, when we come across a place that promises to do right by us the American way, we’ve gotta try it for ourselves. This time, we’ve been won over. Everyone say hey to the new, cool kid on the block, Hendriks.
Hendriks, which is located in prime Murray Hill, seems too accessible to insane midtown to be a hidden gem, but that’s exactly the vibe my guest and I got upon walking in. The restaurant is warm with ambient lighting, and its exposed brick walls and big mirrors nail the urban vibe without feeling too stuffy. We sat down comfortably and looked over the large yet focused menu of craft cocktails and food.
Our waiter strongly suggested we start with some of their most popular drinks, so we opted for the Cruel Intention ($12), which includes Bulleit bourbon, amaretto, pineapple and fresh lime juice, and the Hendriks Old Fashioned ($13), which marries Crown Royal rye whiskey, orange bitters and angostura bitters. The Cruel Intention was refreshing with a punch of pineapple while the latter reminded us of how an excellent Old Fashioned should be made.
As we sipped our drinks, we picked at the warm bread and olive oil (who can’t finish an entire basket?) and pondered the menu. When a place says its specialty is American, you can’t help but wonder what the specialty of that specialty is, so we asked. Our waiter suggested we start with the lamb meatball ($14), in a mild spicy Romesco sauce with shaved Parmesan on top, the deviled eggs ($12) with cured salmon and tasso ham and the kale and black quinoa salad ($14) with pickled cranberries, shallot, pecorino and lemon. The meatballs had some great heat while the deviled eggs were creamy and refreshing. The salad was bright and citrusy, which brought a great balance to the appetizer selection.
As for our mains? My guest went with the beef short rib au jus ($28), which included whipped potatoes, roasted pearl onions, baby carrots and caramelized Brussels sprouts. I opted for the rotisserie free range chicken ($19), also with whipped potatoes, Brussels sprouts and baby carrots all dribbled over in a cardamom jus. The short ribs were fork tender, rich and dark while the rotisserie chicken was juicy and the jus was intoxicatingly aromatic. Needless to say, we didn’t stop eating until the plates were clean.
Though we were plenty full from the appetizers and mains, we decided we made it this far and that we needed to try dessert. We decided to split the Apple Brown Betty ($7), which was an apple crumble-esque dessert with creme fraiche, and the flourless chocolate cake ($7) with drizzled salted caramel and vanilla ice cream.
If you decide you’re ready to try some serious American food done well, you have to check out Hendriks. Though they’ve got some killer cocktails, head to The Atrium (the product of Hendriks’ expansion) after dinner to keep the fun going. We guarantee you that no one will do you better than Hendriks does. At least, that’s how we felt when we wobbled out of the building.
Address: 557 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
Telephone Number: (212) 686-8080