Hendrick's Tavern - Roslyn, New York

We visited the swanky Hendrick's Tavern for the second time last night, which is the latest addition to the Poll Restaurant group's collection of trendy North Shore hotspots dotted along Northern Boulevard and its vicinity (i.e. Toku, Bar Frites and Bryant & Cooper). Hendrick's is located right in the center of the historic and picturesque village of Roslyn - the site of so many of our favorite restaurants - across from the clock tower and the adorable independent movie theater. The restaurant is huge, with several different rooms and plenty of space for hosting a special event. According to the restaurant's website, it is the former home of Hendrick Onderdonk, built in 1740, and its prior incarnation was a longstanding restaurant called the George Washington Manor. 

Drinks at the bar:
French martini, left
Cosmopolitan, right

I never visited the George Washington Manor, but according to several Yelp reviewers, Hendrick's attracts a decidedly younger and hipper crowd. The place is always packed, but luckily the bar area is huge and features comfortable, sturdy red-leather chairs (if you can grab one), and nice round tables for two, so you can stay there for the evening or have a comfortable place to sit while you wait for your table to be ready. The restaurant is decorated beautifully - lots of dark wood, red leather, tons of different framed pictures covering nearly every inch of space on every wall, and hip music in the background that lends to the buzzy, clubby atmosphere on a busy weekend night. 

Overall, like most of the restaurants owned by the Poll group, Hendrick's is very good, but not outstanding. You will definitely have a good time, enjoy the food and drinks, and especially the people watching.

The menu can best be divided into three major categories: small plates, prime dry-aged steaks, and seafood. The following are what our table ordered last night:
Raspberry Martini:
tart and sweet

Sheep's Milk Ricotta: Sheep's milk ricotta served in a small, square dish, topped with fruity extra virgin olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and herbs, served with grilled country bread. 

This was an excellent start to the evening - the cheese was light, fluffy, lemony and herbaceous and perfect for spreading on that grilled bread. 

Sheep's Milk Ricotta with grilled country bread


Heirloom Tomato and Red Onion Salad: red and yellow heirloom tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion, topped with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Incredibly simple and fresh - but my husband was a little annoyed that they wouldn't accommodate his request to add fresh mozzarella to make this more like a classic Caprese salad. The waiter informed him that he could order the popular Warm Mozzarella dish, but on a 90-degree plus day, that did not sound appetizing. While the yellow tomatoes may have been heirloom, we are pretty sure the red ones were not. Nonetheless, they tasted great. 

Heirloom Tomato and Red Onion Salad

Mesclun Salad with a goat cheese crostini
Mesclun Salad: Mesclun greens tossed in a chardonnay vinaigrette and paired with a goat cheese crostini. A very light and simple salad - the dressing was delicious and the greens were perfectly dressed. I was surprised that the goat cheese on the crostini was not the soft, spreadable goat cheese that is most often served on salads - it was incredibly sharp with a rind, very similar to a Brie. It was a nice addition to the salad, however if you are not a fan of stinky cheese (I happen to be a big fan!), you may find the goat cheese to be off-putting.

Salmon Tartare
Salmon Tartare: Fresh, raw, diced Norwegian salmon tossed with salmon roe, scallions, soy and other Asian flavors and served over an edamame and wasabi puree, topped with a sesame rice cracker. 

As the waiter warned me when I ordered this dish as my entree, this dish was tiny, but very good. The salmon was very fresh and the pop of the salmon roe was a nice touch, and the edamame puree was creamy and delicious, and reminded me of avocado. I wish there was more of the cracker for dipping or using the tartare as a topping, but overall a very nice appetizer.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs: Normally we would not order a pasta dish at a place like Hendrick's because it is not an Italian restaurant, however someone had suggested the dish to my husband so he decided to give it a try. The meatballs were made of a combination of lamb and beef, and were incredibly rich and delicious. The pasta was very fresh, possibly homemade, and also was very rich. It was also topped off with a dollop of ricotta cheese. We all commented that the pasta itself tasted like it was made with cheese, it was that flavorful. After the plate had been devoured, about a quarter cup of oil remained in the bottom of the dish - mystery solved! It's no wonder everything tasted so good! This is definitely something worth trying but share it with one or more people - it is too rich to eat by itself as a meal. Also, my husband would have preferred more tomatoes in the sauce, and a lot less oil. 

Chicken Parmigiano: Whoa, this was a rich, cheesy dish! The table next to us ordered it and we saw it come to their table when we first sat down and it was hard to tell what it was, there was so much cheese covering the chicken. Very good chicken parmesan, although a little too cheesy for my taste. I did like that they left the leg bone in the chicken - it was a nice touch.

Chicken Parmigiano

Key Lime Pie: A very tart, firm key lime pie on a walnut graham cracker crust. This is the consistency and tartness that my husband loves because it is not too sweet. Definitely a must try if you are a key lime pie fan.

Key Lime Pie

"Stickie Bun"
Stickie Bun: A sharp contrast to the key lime pie, this was an incredibly sweet, warm cinnamon pecan bun topped with caramel and vanilla ice cream. It was really, really sweet and the bun was just a little too hard for my taste. My attempts to carve a piece with my spoon and fork sent the bun flying into my lap! I would not order this again. 

The following dishes we have tried in the past and would recommend:

48 oz. bone-in ribeye steak for two: This is pictured in the very first photo above, in the bottom center. It is a Flintstone-size serving of meat, and we shared it between four people after having appetizers at the bar one night. The meat was excellent, and it was very cool that they served giant split bones so you could eat the marrow. A very rich dish - definitely share it with more than one person!

Zucchini and Eggplant Chips: This is one of my favorite things I've had at Hendrick's, and it's mainly due to the delicious almond garlic dip that is served with the chips. They take paper-thin slices of zucchini and eggplant and lightly flour or bread them and deep fry them. They are served with a very creamy, very garlicky almond dip that is incredibly addictive. I would buy that dip to go if they sold it! If you are a garlic lover, you have to try this.

Kobe Beef Hot Dog: If you are a fan of pigs in a blanket, you have to try this once. They take a giant kobe beef hot dog, and wrap it in puff pastry, bake it, and then cut it into bite-size pieces perfect for dipping in mustard. A fun twist on a classic hors d'oeuvre.



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