We were the first to report that the team behind Smith Street favorite Brooklyn Social were working on a new project in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn called Henry Public. Well, the long awaited grand opening is happening this Friday night October 9th and Loungerati was invited to the soft opening last night to sample the food, drinks, and atmosphere.
Matt Dawson, partner and principal bartender, and his wife Jen Albano had a vision of a tavern which salutes the old Brooklyn. Henry Public is a saloon reminiscent of 19th century inn that may have dotted agricultural Kings County. Matt and Jen had the historic Brooklyn of Walt Whitman in mind but the bar doesn't feel period specific. I could go into how Tracey Meyer, another partner, sweated day and night constructing the bar but he spins the yarn so much better. So I will digress on descriptions of the interior for now and just reveal that it is comfy, warm, and hospitable.
Now to my forte - the drinks. The cocktails are a mix of originals and reinvented classics but the atmosphere is come as you are. It is not another speakeasy, but HP tips their hat in their direction with regards to fresh ingredients and vintage technique. Five local beers on tap, a dozen tasty cocktails, and a simple straightforward menu that includes a perfectly cooked grass-fed beef burger from Orwashers, house made juniper pickles, oysters, and a turkey leg sandwich make the place a destination throughout the night.
I won't give away the whole cocktail list, you will have to taste for yourself. However, below are two goods one: my first drink and the nightcap.
Ether (Scotch, Dry Vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse, Absinthe, lemon peel) - Blended scotch with a hint of the Absinthe and botanticals infused from the Chartreuse and vermouth. Make no mistake this is a boozey cocktail but the layering of flavors makes it a quick study.
I rounded the evening off with an Eagle's Dream (Gin, Lemon, Egg White, Sugar, Creme de Violette). Smooth with a citrus edge, the creme de violette is not obscured, in fact it cuts the lemon and stands up to the sugar. A capper indeed!
See you at the Grand Opening!
329 Henry Street @Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 1231