From the outside, m. henry looks as if it belongs on the streets of France. With its welcoming red awning and sophisticated lettering, the Chicago restaurant could easily blend in as a Parisian sidewalk café. Just as the exterior speaks of quaint European charm, the interior greets you with multihued, vintage milk pails and an assortment of artisan breads. A rooster smiles from behind the counter of what could pass for a rustic bakery. The beautiful landscape paintings and traditional colors create an agrarian feel and a comforting atmosphere.An old friend and I decided to meet at m. henry to catch up while enjoying a late brunch. Rumor had it that m. henry offers exceptional breakfasts and brunches — the best in Andersonville, so we’d heard. With a firm commitment to healthful preparation and the finest local and organic ingredients, m. henry shines with globally inspired, American-style cuisine. Their motto? “Eat well. Live long.
Thankfully, m. henry lived up to its reputation. Not only was the service friendly and attentive, but the breakfast food was indeed extraordinary. I ordered the Latina Omeletta — fluffy eggs prepared with black beans, tomatoes, sour cream, green onions, cilantro and a delicious Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese, topped with a zesty chipotle sauce. To offset the spice, the omelette is served with sweet plantains and crispy house potatoes, which were flawlessly seasoned with rosemary and a house blend of spices and the best part of the meal. My friend chose the omelette from the special menu, prepared with egg whites and fresh mozzarella cheese, and she declared it equally satisfying. Other menu options we wavered over are the rustic peasant quiche with mixed field greens and Jorge’s black bean cakes with eggs. Every plate in the restaurant seemed to be beautifully presented with vibrant colors and an artistic flair.m. henry’s concept, which focuses on balance, offers healthy items alongside indulgent items, and when we caught a glimpse of our neighbors’ breakfasts, we almost regretted not choosing from the sweet side of the menu. It’s hard to resist the blackberry bliss cakes, buttery hotcakes layered with warm blackberries and vanilla mascarpone cream and topped with a brown sugar and oat crust. You can also treat yourself to the dulce banana rumba French toast, thick brioche French toast layered with warm bananas, rum and golden raisins and drizzled with crème caramel and toasted pecans. My next trip to m. henry will undoubtedly consist of something yummy without consideration of my waistline.
As we lingered over our coffee and conversation, we agreed to return, as it was the ideal place to reconnect with an old friend and not feel rushed. With the picturesque décor and delightful dishes, m. henry is like a Parisian treasure with an American farmhouse twist. Open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the café and bakery is located at 5707 N. Clark St. They also accommodate carry-out requests, including take-home pancake mix and special orders. Their sister location, m. henrietta, is located at 1133 W. Granville, offering an additional dinner menu. For more information, visit m. henry’s web site at http://www.mhenry.net or http://www.mhenrietta.com.