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Critics Praise Henrietta’s, Caution Against Steak

What the critics are saying this week

Henrietta’s Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

Southern brasserie Henrietta's sits on the first floor of jaw-dropping hotel The Dewberry, on the corner of Meeting and Henrietta Streets. The restaurant opened quietly in June, but the space should be hopping now that the town’s two top critics give it a thumbs up. Here’s what the City Paper and Post and Courier thought about Henrietta’s.

Critic Hanna Raskin starts with the compliments in the second paragraph of her review for Post and Courier, “... it’s dazzlingly good-looking and primed for revisiting. Other new restaurants may be more daring or more hard-charging right now, but downtown needed a constant place like this, with charging outlets under the bar tables and righteously crisped French fries.”

City Paper writer Vanessa Wolf saves her praise until the concluding paragraph, “Henrietta's refined French flavors by way of the Big Easy bring out some of the highlights of both cuisines. Despite some stumbles from the kitchen, the excellent service and over-arching deliciousness ensure the flavors shine and les bons temps rouler.”

What would the critics recommend? Raskin goes for the roast chicken: “Advertised as ‘for two,’ the $60 bird could easily feed three, and possibly a fourth, if that person just wanted to snack on the glistening skin and accompanying puffy Parker rolls, dredged through those incomparable Keegan-Filion juices.”

Wolf speaks highly of the duck confit salad at lunch:

[T]he crispy duck confit salad ($19) takes light dining to new levels of decadence. Fresh spring greens and slightly bitter frisee mingle expertly with a vinegar-based dressing. Topped with pickled mustard seeds, rich roast duck meat, a warm poached duck egg, and some superfluous croutons, this dish claims to be a salad, but the title seems too simple. Rich, yet refreshing, it's simply sublime.

The critics don’t overlap on many menu items, but when they do, they agree. Both Wolf and Raskin adore the crackers served with the crab remoulade and both had a bad time with the steak frites. Raskin calls the dish a “major disappointment,” and Wolf writes that it is “particularly disappointing.”

According to these reviews, perhaps stay away from the steak until the kinks are worked out, and you’ll have a fine time at Henrietta’s.