Henrietta Red is the dream of Nashville born Julia Sullivan with a focus on fresh, simple ingredients and a variety of raw oysters and seafood. The name is in honor of her grandparent’s low-country hospitality. It is a fairly large place with widely spaced tables over 2 rooms and an overall modern feel. The entry room contains the large bar as well as a few tables in a less lit space. The second room has more lights, lots of windows, sound panels in the ceiling, the opening into the kitchen, a large center table for service and the oyster shucking area. There is a wood fired oven in the kitchen and a patio for seating. The menu has a number of smaller plates, larger main course plates – but all seemed fine to split. Our friendly server was helpful in making selections and willing to bring out in a spaced format to create our own tasting of sorts. Overall the food was delicious and full of wonderful flavors with good attention to textures and fun compositions.
We began our meal with a well maid Negroni cocktail to accompany raw oysters from Apalachee Bay, Bay Beauts and Murder Point served with classic mignonette. A couple wedges of lemon were also there depending on your preferences. They were all super fresh and wonderful but the Bay Beauts from Panacea, FL were our favorites.
From the raw menu we also selected the Red snapper ceviche with blood orange, Nicoise olives, pistachio and cilantro. It was an amazing dish of wonderful flavors. The delicious snapper was delightful in the tasty marinade and mixed with other fun ingredients. The pistachios added a great crunch and the blood orange contributed a lot to the color of the dish.
Olive Oil poached scallop with grapefruit, avocado, currant, mint, Ras el Hanout and crispy rice was another great dish. So many textures in the lovely dish. Pieces of grapefruit, currants and crispy rice combined to make a real winner with the sweet soft scallop.
Two types of Wood fired oysters were on the menu and we got them both. Great choice. Oysters with tonnato, garlic, crispy sourdough breadcrumbs were buttery with texture. Delicious. The oysters with green curry were immersed in the terrific sauce. Full of flavor they were another terrific choice.
Crispy Shrimp Snack with shrimp, scallion, Old Bay and hot mustard were basically a shrimp fritter. A great coating complimented by a really tasty dipping sauce with a mustardy sweet and sour flavor. The fritters had good shrimp flavor even through you couldn’t see a lot of solid shrimp in them. A really fun dish overall.
Crab dip made with jumbo lump crab, celery and Old Bay was served alongside wood fired bread. There was lots of cream cheese consistency in the dish and the bread was good. It came out too hot to really taste well but as it cooled it would only rate a good, not a favorite in the mix.
Fish and Chips with crispy potatoes, garlic aioli and malt vinegar changes fish daily. Today’s was grouper and it had an excellent coating that didn’t overwhelm the terrific fish. The chips were well seasoned red potatoes that were almost the star of the plate. Crispy and delicious it was hard not to keep coming back to these for one more piece. A very well done plate of something that is too often just a plate of fried stuff.
For dessert we chose the Almond and Coconut which was with angel food cake, meringue and coconut Luxardo ice cream. The crisp meringue sheets were piled on the squares of cake under the scoop of cherry ice cream, all dusted with sliced toasted almonds. It was a really different mix of things with the dense cake, sweet ice cream studded with delicious cherries all in a sticky sweet sauce. Contrast then with crisp meringue and toasted almonds and you have a ton of textures and flavors. Great combo and suitable ending for a fine meal.