From the Bar: Three Cocktails To Help You Survive Thanksgiving

22 Nov

Whether you have a perfectly lovely family or the kind that makes strangers on the street chant “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” it’s fair to say the holidays are stressful for almost everyone. Thank bejesus for whoever invented booze, right? We asked Chez Henri bar manager Rob Kraemer which cocktails he’d wash his own Turkey-flavored sorrows down with come Thursday evening, and he was kind enough to oblige with some tasty recipes. Here you have em, folks! Knock a few of these back and pass out in a chair until Black Friday. Then repeat.

1.5 oz cognac
1 oz. Averna (Italian digestif)
.5 oz maraschino liqueur.
Add ingredients to shaker, fill with ice, stir, strain into a martini glass. garnish with lemon twist.
Penicillin Cocktail
2 oz blended Scotch
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz ginger-honey syrup (Easy to DIY. Here’s a recipe from The Cocktail Chronicles blog)
.25 oz Islay Scotch
Combine everything except the Islay into a shaker, fill with ice, shake and strain into rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Float the Islay on top
Edmunds’ Lane
2 oz pear infused vodka
1 oz rosemary-simple syrup (Another easy DIY. Here’s a recipe from The Kitchn)
1.5 oz peach nectar.
Fill collins glass halfway with ice, Shake vodka, simple and nectar and strain over ice, top with soda, garnish with sprig of rosemary
Happy Thanksgiving from Chez Henri!

2011 National Sandwich Day Face-Off Results

4 Nov

Face-Off runner-up and winner prizes (made by Heidi Kenney of

WOW last night’s event with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese was awesome. A major thank you to everyone who came out and made our first ever National Sandwich Day battle such a party! Everyone walked in pumped to eat and it was fun hearing what voters thought as they dropped off their ballots. The final tally is in and we have a winner! Here’s a (kinda fuzzy) video of the awards ceremony:

Wanna see how your favorites did? Check out the results for every dish on the menu below.


First Course

Chez’s Conch Fritters: 36

Roxy’s Fried Pickles: 34 votes

Chez’s Guava BBQ Pork Ribs: 30 votes

Roxy’s Poutine: 42 votes

66 Chez, 76 Roxy’s  – ROXY’S WINS


Second Course

Chez’s Traditional Pork Cuban: 50 votes

Roxy’s Short Rib, Fontina and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese: 57 votes

Chez’s Grilled Vegetable Cuban: 10 votes

Roxy’s Mushroom Confit, Baby Swiss and Arugula Grilled Cheese: 24 votes

60 Chez, 81 Roxy’s – ROXY’S WINS



Roxy’s Grilled Cheese Cake: 35 votes

Chez’s Boca Negra with Spicy Peanut Brittle: 75 votes

75 Chez, 35 Roxy’s – CHEZ WINS


How we chose a champion: Whoever won two out of the three courses took the prize. Roxy’s won the first and second courses, and Chez won dessert by a landslide. (Roxy’s ran out of dessert by the end of the night, so we stopped counting dessert votes once that happened. With only two courses left on the ballot, from then on we also only counted a vote if Chez or Roxy’s won both courses on a ballot. Just in case any of you math whiz types were counting!)

While Chez got more votes overall in the competition (201 to 192 baby!), Roxy’s took home the prize for winning more courses. We had a blast working with James and his crew, and we look forward to many years of being sandwich BFFs.

Congrats to Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, 2011 National Sandwich Day Face-Off Champions!!!

Sarah of Chez Henri in the official #Foodfight uniform.

Behind the Scenes: Jennifer Glickman, Interior Designer

31 Oct

Interior Designer Jennifer Glickman at work. (photo courtesy of Jennifer Glickman)

If you’ve been by Chez Henri in the last month or so, you probably noticed the interior got about 100x cooler. Our chic new look is thanks to an amazing up-and-coming design star named Jennifer Glickman, whose work you may have already admired if you’ve visited Isabelle’s CurlyCakes (the Beacon Hill bakery of celeb chef Todd English). We chatted with Jen about design, our new look, and even got a great tip on how to keep it chic at home.

What inspired you to become a designer?

I was born with this obsession for design that goes back as far as I can remember. When a was a kid I would spend all of my allowance on art supplies to repaint the furniture and walls…that got me into some trouble at times. I would even draw tree fort plans on the back of my school worksheets and make the neighborhood boys build them!

The bar at Chez Henri (photo by Gabriel Rizzo,

What kind of feel/look were you going for with Chez Henri’s redesign? How’d you make it happen? 

The concept for the Chez Henri reno was not to make it look like a brand new renovation had just occured, but to refresh the space and polish it while maintaining the original concept of a French Cuban bistro that the community has loved for 16 years. So while there were a lot of new elements installed (furniture, lighting, flooring, etc), I created a palette that they still supports the original concept of the restaurant and Paul O’Connell’s creative mind and menu. The result is a more polished space with a difinitive separation between the Dining Room’s finer dining menu and the more casual bar.

Where else can we see your work besides Chez?

Curlycakes on Beacon Hill, Veronique renovation in Brookline, and State Room downtown are a few. I also work with architecture firms to design interiors for various universities, libraries, theaters – very large scale projects and I design residences around Boston and New England.

What inspires you? 

I’m inspired by everything I see around me. I’m constantly analyzing, deconstructing, and reinterpreting elements all around me into inspirations for my projects…I know…it’s definitely NOT normal! I can’t walk into a space without touching the materials and surfaces or examining connections or details…seriously, I can’t help it! I do draw upon my time spent studying architecture and design in Italy and traveling Europe, especially being in New England and designing in a lot of historic buildings.

Your apartment must be amazing. How would you describe your personal style?

I like to mix styles according to each personality, such as beautiful antiques along mid century modern pieces. It’s so dull to fill your home, office, etc. with the furniture showroom floor from just one vendor but more of a challenge (and more of a design success) to be creative with style mixes.

Can you come over and design my house?

Yes! I actually specialize in restaurant and residential. I’m working on some beautiful residences right now that I can’t wait to install.

Whats the biggest mistake people make when doing their own design?

They don’t consider their space as a whole. It’s easy to find something that you like and install it but you need to think of the design and vocabulary of your entire space. For example, if you are just replacing a piece of furniture or even lighting, think of how it relates to everything else in the space. Don’t just buy it because you like the way it looks on the shelf or in the catalog on its own, but buy it because you like it AND it speaks to the rest of your design. Capish? 

Visit for more info and to contact Jennifer.

Chez Henri Sweet 16 Party Pics

25 Oct

Chez Henri head honchos: GM Beth Schunke, Bar Manager Rob Kraemer and Chef/Owner Paul O'Connell

On Sunday, October 16, Chez Henri celebrated 16 years and our new renovation with a kick-ass Sweet 16 party. So many great people showed up – from Chefs (Jasper White of Summer Shack, Rembs Layman of Tupelo and Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 to name a few!) to media (Boston Globe, Metro, WBUR, UpTake, EDGE Publications, and more!) as well as our awesome friends, family and loyal patrons. Even Chez Henri’s namesake, Henry O’Connell (Chef Paul’s son) made an appearance. Check out the photos and see if you recognize anyone!

Chez Henri Sweet 16 Photo Album on Facebook    

Sam Sweeney of Boston Metro

Chef Rembs Layman of Tupelo with wife Jen Deaderick and daughter Rosie

PHOTOS: Gabriel Rizzo of Golden Lion Photography.

Backdrop: ImageXpress  Lights: RULE Boston Camera


National Sandwich Day Face-Off 11/3

13 Oct

The Chez Henri Cuban faces off with Roxy's truck-drivin' grilled cheese! (cartoon by Jenn Fresen)

The finest food fight of fall is on for Thursday, November 3 as Chez Henri goes face-to-face (ooo – sandwich pun!) with Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese. The Food Network stars (video) are pulling their truck up to 1 Shepard Street and invading the Chez kitchen. Chef Paul “Pretty Boy” O’Connell and James “Handsome” DiSabatino have entered their all-star lineups and created a tasty three-course battle that pits two dishes against each other in each course. Diners will vote on their favorites, and a winner will be crowned Sandwich Champion at the end of the evening.

National Sandwich Day Face-Off Menu  – $39 per person

first course (choice of):

Roxy’s fried pickles vs. Chez’s conch fritter


Roxy’s poutine vs. Chez’s guava bbq pork ribs

second course:

Chez’s traditional pork Cuban sandwich vs. Roxy’s short rib, fontina and caramelized onion grilled cheese


Chez’s grilled vegetable cuban sandwich vs. Roxy’s mushroom confit, baby swiss and arugula grilled cheese.


Roxy’s grilled cheese cake vs. Chez’s boca negra with spicy peanut brittle

The battle commences at 5:30 p.m. Tables are going fast, so book ASAP if you want to rock the (sandwich) vote. Call 617-354-8980 or

Behind the Scenes: Michael Schunke, Glass Artist

7 Oct

Back in September, you might have noticed that Chez Henri closed for a few days. We were getting a major makeover… shirtless men were in there building stuff while slowly wiping their brows with ice cold Cokes and everything. In addition to updating the basics (floors, walls, painting) we added some amazing pieces of art. Allow us to introduce you to Michael Schunke, the kick-ass glass artist who hand made all of our new light fixtures.

Michael Schunke at work in his NJ studio.

Michael started working with glass at 19 years old and fell in love with it. He studied his craft with master artists Michael Scheiner and Jack Wax before going on to work with Italian legend Lino Tagliapietra, a world-renowned artist featured in major museums across the globe.  Michael’s own work has been featured in top design magazines such as Veranda and Elle Decor, and can be viewed in galleries in the US as well as Denmark and Japan. We’re proud to say you can now sit and admire his work at our very own Chez Henri.

Chez Henri's fancy new lights, ready to be installed.

“The design team at Chez Henri was interested in simple shapes with an organic profile,” he said. “I worked through several drawings to reach designs that blended my aesthetic with their vision.”

Love his work? He does more than light fixtures! He says his favorite thing in the world to make is actually goblets.

“I work in collaboration with my partner, Josie Gluck, on a colorful and functional design collection for the home,” says Schunke. “Additionally, I use traditional Venetian techniques to make contemporary sets of goblets.”

Check out his website, where you can shop for your own home.

Our First Blog (Aww!)

2 Oct

(photo via

Welcome to the official Chez Henri blog! We’re so excited you found us.

Did you know we’re celebrating our 16th Anniversary this year? We’re wicked proud. We think this is the perfect time we let everyone in on the party –  so here we are, internets!

Things you will find here:

  • top-secret recipes
  • party pics
  • Chef Paul spouting off about [fill in the blank]
  • expert advice
  • cool videos (how-to’s, random clips)
  • Boston blogs we love
  • exclusive details on upcoming events
  • photos of delicious new things we’ve dreamed up to satiate you
Things you will not find here:
  • press releases
  • videos of people getting hit in the crotch (… not often, anyway)

We hope you dig it, and we totally look forward to hearing from you! Comment your little hearts out, and as always, feel free to Tweet or Facebook us.