Hendriks knows how to do decadent.

At this Murray Hill restaurant, classic American fare gets fancied up, under the care of head chef Jimmy Tenezaca. He combines his experience in French fine dining with American comfort food, to create refined versions of the classic, indulgent dishes we’ve come to love.

Head chef Jimmy Tenezaca. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Head chef Jimmy Tenezaca. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Hendriks is sophisticated but approachable, a place where diners are encouraged to stay awhile and catch up with friends without being rushed. Floor-to-ceiling windows make it sunny and cheerful by day, while it exudes a lively vibe at night.

Inside the restaurant. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Inside the restaurant. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

The bar area, spanning most of the length of the restaurant, has a modern, elegant feel, with exposed brick walls contrasting with the bar’s marble top counter. Sidle up for refreshing, nuanced cocktails. The varied menu includes the Hendriks Old Fashioned with Old Overholt rye whiskey, orange bitters, and angostura bitters; the Hendriks Mojito with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, pineapple juice, and mint; and the Moscow Mule with Stolichnaya vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.

Go Big or Go Home

You can’t go wrong starting with an appetizer like the Applewood Smoked Thick Bacon, a huge chunk of glorious bacon, crispy on the outside, with a hint of smokiness ($8). If that wasn’t enough, a smear of garlicky Sriracha aioli and a side of grain mustard provides the right amount of heat and zing to cut through the meat’s fattiness.

Applewood Smoked Thick Bacon, with grain mustard and a smear of garlicky Sriracha aioli. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Applewood Smoked Thick Bacon, with grain mustard and a smear of garlicky Sriracha aioli. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, the burrata salad is filling but restrained in flavor ($15). The pearly white cheese makes for a clean slate that highlights the tart balsamic reduction, bitter arugula, and salty-sweet prosciutto accompanying it.

Burrata salad. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Burrata salad. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

As for the pasta dishes, they are an unapologetic celebration of carbs’ deliciousness. Between the Shellfish Cioppino Linguini, with an enormous heap of clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp swimming in marinara sauce ($24), and the rich Smoked Pork Belly Risotto mingled with wild mushrooms and sweet peas ($18), the hard part is deciding.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian entrée, the Butternut Squash Ravioli ($18) is a tantalizing combination of sweet and savory, using ingredients that signal the imminent arrival of the fall season—caramelized apples, cider cream sauce, pickled cranberries, and goat cheese.

Either way, your stomach will thank you for having eaten by the motto “go big or go home.”

For ultimate decadence, get the Lobster Mac and 3 Cheese, a dangerously tasty combination of aged cheddar, smoked gouda, and fontina that melts into a creamy concentration of umami ($21). The rigatoni pasta, with its ridges, makes it easy to catch all that sauce.

Lobster Mac and 3 Cheese, with aged cheddar, smoked gouda, and fontina. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Lobster Mac and 3 Cheese, with aged cheddar, smoked gouda, and fontina. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

For another take on lobster, the Hendriks Lobster Roll, served with shoestring fries, consists of a soft toasted bun hollowed out to make room for plump pieces of lobster meat ($24). The chunks of meat are larger than in most rolls, which lets you appreciate the lobster’s springy texture and fresh flavor. The lobster is lightly dressed with aioli, and sprinkled with tarragon, adding freshness. Insert some of the apple slaw served on the side into the bun, and you’ll get extra crunch and tangy sweetness.

The Hendriks Lobster Roll, hidden underneath a pile of shoestring fries. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
The Hendriks Lobster Roll, hidden underneath a pile of shoestring fries. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

The dessert menu is a “greatest hits” list of time-honored classics. There’s Tiramisu with raspberry coulis ($7), Apple Brown Betty with crème fraîche ($7), and a simple but decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream ($7).

Hendriks
557 Third Ave. (at East 37th Street)
212-686-8080
HendriksNYC.com

Hours:
Monday–Thursday
11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Friday
11:30 a.m.–midnight
Saturday
11 a.m.–midnight
Sunday
11 a.m.–10 p.m.