A new restaurant has quietly opened up on the hippest section of First Avenue SW, with no sign except a small speech bubble on the door: Ten Foot Henry.Which is weird, because Henry himself is not known for being discreet. Seen here, directing those in need to the loo, Henry is in all his usual ten-foot glory. But perhaps he’s been relegated to the hallway because he — ahem — would be an overbearing contrast with the subtle decor.
The room is a relief from over-themed design that can sometimes overwhelm the ‘latest new place.’ Light and airy despite the lack of windows, a plethora of hanging plants allude to the freshness of what you’re about to eat.
Aja Lapointe will happily take credit for the food (along with co-founder and executive chef Stephen Smee) but not for the plants. Those are firmly rooted under the green thumbs of Plant Terrariums, my succulent go-to in Inglewood, and Esme.The bar is a great spot for dining solo, but if you’re with friends, get ready to share.Even though the menu was full of intriguing food choices, I had gossip to get to. So I leapt at the lunch suggestion to let the restaurant make all the decisions. The low-priced option has a low-key name, “five plates for $19,” and today it started with the Henry Salad. The Henry kitchen has the rare talent of knowing how not to over-dress. The greens, served to share, were quickly followed with a mushroom omelette made with montasio cheese.
The share plates kept on showing up. Charred broccoli with celery root soubise was next, then a bucatini that was the ultimate in al dente. Dessert is not pictured, because it was raw truffles, concocted from pure cocoa. We ate them too damn fast for photo evidence.
Lunch was paired with a “friendly Valpolicella” (to quote our server, and I totally agree) and the lovely Lana Rogers. A toast to your new PR + Consulting company, Lana, and cheers to Ten Foot Henry, now part of my Calgary top ten restaurant list.