Chez Henri Pop-Up Dinner at Parsnip

Alternate title, that time I dined alone..

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of trying Parsnip which is located at 91 Winthrop St in Cambridge MA. I unfortunately did not have a guest to bring with me (it was not for lack of trying) but the menu sounded too good to pass up so I put on my big girl pants and went even though I new I would be dining alone.

I was glad to have the option to sit at the bar in the lounge upstairs so it was less obvious that I was flying solo.

However, I wished I had someone to go with me so I could have sat in the main dining area, it is so beautiful. I will definitely be going back so I can get the full experience.

The purpose of the dinner was for sister restaurants Parsnip and Night Market (located across the street) to reunite Chez Henri alum Jason Tom, Mark Thompson, John Hendron, Rembs Layman and Chez Chef\Owner Paul O’Connell for a very special pop-up dinner.

The theme of the pop-up menu was Cuban inspired.

I kicked my meal off with an ice cold glass of processo and Chilled Corn Vichyssoise with Maine Crab.
My only complaint about this dish was that there wasn’t enough of it! It had delicious chunks of crab meat in it, it was so refreshing for the hot day we were having.


Next guests could chose from the Ceviche Mixta with Avocado and Plantain Chips or Conch Fritters with Guava BBQ Sauce. I opted for the ceviche but ended up getting a little combo plate. I LOVED the ceviche and loved using plantain chips as the vessel to eat the shrimp and octopus in the ceviche. Although I shouldn’t eat the fritters I did have a tiny taste to see what they were all about, while they aren’t really for me I did enjoy the guava bbq sauce and think it would be delicious on a good piece of fish or chicken.


For the main meal guests could have Chez Henri Cuban Sandwich: Slow roasted pork, ham and gruyere cheese or Trout Meuniere: trout, lobster beurre noisette, parsnip puree and haricot verts. I went for the trout and loved every single bite of it! The trout was cooked perfectly and I love when it has a little char around the edges. The lobster beurre noisette was incredible and had plenty of chunks of lobster meat and the parsnip puree was so good I practically licked my plate clean. I have had parsnip puree at a few places now and it is something I really should make at home, it is so rich and creamy and really brings a meal together. I think it would be delicious to have under some roasted veggies and roasted chicken.


I opted out of dessert because it was a Tres Leches Cake with Coconut Tuille which I cannot have.

But the chef was nice enough to make me another option which was raspberry sorbet with stone fruit and berries and it was delicious!

In between dinner and dessert Chef Paul O’Connell came out and said hello to me. Which I thought was very nice of him. He is definitely a talented chef and I am so glad I could experience his delicious cooking.

The food as Parsnip is really delicious and the atmosphere is fun and exciting. I cannot wait to go back and bring a guest next time ;).

25% of the evenings proceeds benefited Chef Paul O’Connell’s new organization, NECAT. NECAT’s Culinary Arts Job Training Program provides opportunity to resource-poor, chronically unemployed and underemployed adults and at-risk young adults. Through in-demand job training, support and employment services, NECAT helps individuals launch careers in the food services industry and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

I received the above food and drink complimentary. All opinions are my own.

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