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We’re back {Henry & Oscar’s}

August 4, 2012

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Last summer’s whirlwind travel took me to restaurants in three cities. I had a hard time keeping up with my posts. This year’s trip had a slightly different flavor. There were a couple great meals out, but there was more food on the run than usual and lots of meals at home with my parents’ in Albuquerque. It was a nice change from the normal restaurant-only July diet. I opted against too many notes or food photos in favor of just enjoying the experiences.

I returned to Seattle after 15 days on the road to beautiful Seattle weather. B and I struggle to eat at home when the weather is nice. We have an amazing view from our condo, but no patio to speak of, so staying home just feels like allowing ourselves to be taunted by the knowledge that these blue skies are a temporary respite from the usual situation. Normally, we put up a bit more of a fight against the inclination, but this week, we just went for it. One stop during our week of overindulgence was at Henry and Oscar’s.

Henry and Oscar’s took over the space left vacant by Shallots a few months ago. We knew they were coming for months based on the sign in the window, but it seemed they would never arrive. Then, one day, they opened quietly.

We’ve visited a few times, but so far, haven’t made it into their actual dining room. Shallots was a rather small restaurant that only occupied the bar portion of Henry and Oscar’s. We never realized there was so much more to the space. While we still haven’t dined in the dining room, we have looked inside and it’s gorgeous. It truly captures the social club vibe.

On our visits, we’ve alternated each time between sharing multiple appetizers and ordering our own entrees. This time around, I had a massive steak craving, so we opted for our own meals. We did share the Fries & Cheese Fondue to start, though.

These fries are among my favorite in the city. B and I are usually good fry buddies since he prefers the crispy ones and I’d rather the softer ones. There isn’t a lot of fighting over specific fries. My fry preference is in stark contrast to my normal distaste for anything mushy. With these, though, they’ve managed to make them the perfect balance of both. The cheese is a nice addition as well. The first time we had them, I found myself wishing the cheese was a little thicker. That only lasted long enough for me to realize that this is the actual consistency of melted cheese rather than Velveeta or some other processed cheese-like product.

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For dinner, B made a predictable choice in the Braised Pork Shoulder. He hesitated a bit because it was meant to come with Brussels Sprouts, but we found a way around that. Our server brought B a knife, but he didn’t need it. The meat fell apart in the best possible way as soon as he touched it with a fork.

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And then there were those Brussels Sprouts. I, of course, ordered a steak (Double R Ranch NY Strip). My entrée came with a choice of sides. I opted for B’s choice of mashed potatoes and our server was nice enough to let me have B’s Brussels Sprouts and serve B my potatoes. Their awesome chef brought me potatoes to go along with the sprouts.

I love (good) Brussels Sprouts. Just like every other time I’ve ordered them, B looked at me shocked and asked “You like Brussels Sprouts?” Selective hearing. Rave reviews from both of us on the steak and the pork shoulder. Don’t let the photographic illusion of the steak fool you. It was a big steak. Half of it came home with us.

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The desserts at Henry and Oscars are built for two, but they tell you that, so it’s ok. You aren’t at risk for ordering one each. We shared the Tiramisu Ice Cream. It’s no Molly Moon’s, but it was definitely a nice finish to the meal.

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Henry and Oscar’s has become one of B’s favorite places. I’m not ready to declare it a favorite just yet, but we have really enjoyed every visit. It’s the sheer fact that there are so many great places close by that keeps it from the very top of my list. We’ve had different servers and bartenders on every visit, so we haven’t really made a personal connection, but everyone we’ve come into contact with has been friendly and hospitable. And their food is great. We’re thrilled to have them in the neighborhood.

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