Henry’s by the harbor

A year-round taste of summer.

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The Harbor View Hotel makes any day feel like a special occasion. Waves of unmissable bliss come after getting out of the car, greeted by the tranquil stillness of Edgartown Harbor, and the never-gets-old satisfaction of finding parking. I recommend visiting on an empty stomach in the dead of winter.

Henry’s Hotel Bar is the year-round spot at the Harbor View Hotel. During summer, the Lighthouse Grill and North 41 are also open, but in winter, Henry’s is all you need. Plus, the default destination means you can leave all your decision-making for the menu.

Henry’s Bar has a tapas-inspired menu made up of small plates, and options for full lunch and dinner entrées. The harborside restaurant sources Island-fresh ingredients from local farms and fishermen, prepared in a contemporary New England style by Executive Chef Richard Doucette. Chef Doucette joined the Harbor View in March 2016, and was promoted to executive chef in September 2016. He specializes in original homestyle dishes with a modern twist.

Henry’s has an intimate ambiance, with cushioned seating and booths that make you feel like you’re dining in a friend’s really nice living room. An easy place to converse, and a hard place to forget.

There’s a longstanding myth that oysters should only be consumed in months ending in ‘R’, but I’d confidently tell you otherwise, especially after trying them at Henry’s in early January. Oysters on the Half-Shell ($18) are simply shucked and served, with lemons and cocktail sauces on the side. They taste as they should — fresh, local, and like summer.

Another small plate favorite is the Edamame Hummus ($10). Forget chickpeas for just a moment — these small green pods bring the Middle Eastern dish to the next level. The hummus blend is 100 percent vegan, cooked with pickled Peruvian peppers and extra virgin olive oil, and paired with soft-as-a-pillow pita pockets, notably fresh, and still warm from the grill.

The Lobster Tacos ($16) will be compartmentalized in your long-term memory. I blame it on the homemade guacamole. And the lobster. Easy to eat, easier to enjoy. If you’re a lobster or seafood skeptic, this is the dish for you. Small bits of fresh lobster will ease you into the taste, with the comfort and accessibility of a bite-size tortilla shell.

A small plate option for the meat eaters out there is the Lamb Meatball Pita ($14). Another unexplainably soft pita cushions three lamb meatballs, served with feta and kimchi aioli. Small, but satisfying, and bursting with flavor, the plate is all you need to leave the table happy, healthy, and not too full.

Try any of the splittable starter salads to get your greens in for the day. The Baby Kale Salad ($14) is served with crushed almonds, pomegranate, shaved pecorino, and pomegranate vinaigrette. You can add chicken, steak, shrimp, or lobster for an extra $8 to $14 for protein or to make it an entrée.

Entrées are under the menu’s “Local Favorites” section, with a choice of french fries or side salad. The Knuckle Sandwich ($24) is served on a brioche roll lightly toasted with butter and remoulade. The Fish Tacos ($17) are served with shaved cabbage, spicy pickles, and lime crema. I’d recommend either — I’d recommend anything. I doubt there’s anything on this menu that won’t make you want to come back.

Henry’s menu is complemented by an extensive drink list, offering some of the best microbrewed beers, signature cocktails, and wines by the glass. Henry’s also has weekly dinner specials. Monday is Indian Night ($14), Tuesday is Taco Tuesday ($12), Wednesday is Burger Night (half-price), Thursday is Country Fried Chicken ($14), Friday is Chicken Pot Pie ($12), Saturday is Lobster Mac and Cheese ($18), and Sunday is Supper Roast ($16).

 

Henry’s is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm. For more information, visit harbor-view.com/dining/henrys.