Well, kale's time has come. Glance at most any menu, and you will find a kale salad. But none will hit all the high notes that our very own Henry's shredded kale salad does thanks to Chef David Ferraro's sense of yin and yang.
Shredding kale is a surface-area-to-volume taming of what we used to think of as a tough, leafy green. Chop it into its slaw twin, and you have a snappy, toothsome, yet completely unobjectionable bed of greens.
After all is slawed and done, Henry's gets to the gussying up part of salad making. Into that kale bed are tossed sweet red grapes and coarse-chopped salty almonds. Then comes a layer of delicious finely-grated parmesan cheese that anchors this as a savory salad. And then the crowning glory of that sweet-tart dressing. The surface area comes into play again as the frilly edges of the chopped kale hang onto that dressing for dear life. The salad is a collision of crunch; savory heaped on savory with sweet and tang for good measure. If you want to bat it out of the park and make it your whole meal, ask for the seared, paprika-coated chicken breast to top it off.
Full disclosure: this salad makes me want to buy an apartment next door. Become a vegetarian. Grow my own kale. You name it.
For any given dog day of summer lying in wait for us in the next weeks, you now have Henry's to thank for a respite: order up a fine kale shred. A crisp rosé. Tuck into a slice of the house bread (which you will need in order to sweep your salad plate clean). And enjoy the beauty that is a healthy but scrumptious meal right here in the neighborhood.
Thanks to Henry Rinehart, for years we have had his eponymous restaurant going strong at 2745 Broadway on the northwest corner of W. 105th Street. A cavernous space once filled with the jazz notes of Birdland, Henry's packs in a regular clientele and keeps things interesting with seasonal specials for Mother's Day diners, Thanksgiving feasters, the Sederless and more.
The jazz is gone but not forgotten because an open secret of this spot is the completely entertaining "Sing for Your Supper @ Henry's" series that touches down every so often. And sells out. (Note: book in advance). It's presented by the New York Festival of Song and curated by the multitalented Steven Blier, a block association neighbor. If you haven't attended, you haven't availed yourself of a hyper local treat. It's one of those neighborhood hidden treasures just lying in wait.
For its song cycles. For its community. And sweet Lord, for its kale. Henry's is what I would call a darn good reason to be in this neighborhood.
by Caitlin Hawke
Update: For all you kale groupies, thanks to Henry Rinehart and Chef Ferraro, the recipe may be downloaded at the link below.
HENRY'S KALE SALAD RECIPE: