Veteran chef Frederik De Pue is returning to D.C. with an ambitious downtown bistro that hopes to make private dining part of its lure.
The Henri, at 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., between the National Theatre and Warner Theatre, and a few blocks from the White House, will open Feb. 15. In addition to the main dining room with an open, rotisserie kitchen, the 8,000-square-foot space has six soundproof private dining rooms and a rooftop that overlooks the National Mall.
The private dining rooms are accessed by a separate hostess stand or private entrance, and can be converted into larger spaces for business meetings and special events. The private dining rooms share a separate central kitchen and separate bar, and each has individual audio/video systems.
De Pue spent three years designing the restaurant himself.
“I wanted to offer flexible, modular private dining spaces to accommodate any type of gathering. The Henri is meant to be a unique experience for everyone as the possibilities are endless,” De Pue said.
De Pue, a Belgian native who worked at some of the top restaurants in Europe before moving to the U.S., began his D.C. career as a chef for District embassies. Past restaurants here have included Table, Azure and Menu MBK. He currently owns Flamant in Annapolis, and has operated catering businesses for years.
Main course menu prices for The Henri range from $32 to $44 and include butter poached Atlantic cod, wild boar lasagna and veal cheeks Carbonnade. From the French rotisserie oven, there is a half chicken, lamb T-bone, venison sausage and pork shoulder.
Appetizers include mackerel apple tartar, bonnet suckling pig crepe and saffron broiled prawns. There also is a dessert and cheese and charcuterie menu.
The Henri, named after De Pue’s grandfather, will initially be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with lunch and breakfast options added in the future.