7 at Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Borden Ave. to Queens Blvd., Van Dam St. to Vernon Blvd.
A narrow-minded cartographic stickler might fix on the fact that Café Henri possesses an American owner, Mexican cooks, and Russian waitresses, and sniff that only the menu is French. But a magnanimous diner would see beyond the multinational façade and get into the decent food and BYOB-fueled, jazz-tracked ambiance. So if you did your junior year in Paris and are having an authenticity problem with the whole-wheat crêpe, the sourdough baguette, the unsalted onion soup, or the watery hot chocolate, hold your tongue. Because, you will notice, your brunch or dinner companions are having a terrific time. Pour yourself another glass of the good-value Australian shiraz you brought along and reconsider the merits of Café Henri. There’s the airy, carefully antiqued, sexily chandelier-lit corner space, and a convenient setting mere steps from the No. 7 station, one stop from Grand Central. There’s the tongue-tingling spiciness of the merguez sandwich, the good peasant bread grilled crisp for the croques monsieur and madame, and the creamy chevre folded into salads, omelets, and crêpes. Finally, an endearing footnote: “Henri” is a bright-eyed Maltese terrier. Francophile, surrender.Jazz Music
You won’t hear Kenny G. at Café Henri. This joint plays jumpin’ bebop CDs and, on Monday nights, live jazz from 8:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.Recommended Dishes
Chevre salad, $10.50; quiche lorraine, $8.50; croque monsieur or madame, $9.50; dinner crêpes, $8-$10.50