Peter Davis, a native of Nahant, Massachusetts, left New England as a young man to work at the Hyatt-Singapore, the Bali Hyatt, the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong and the Beverly Hills Peninsula. When he returned to Massachusetts 22 years ago to open Henrietta’s Table in Cambridge’s Charles Hotel, farm-to-table was an original idea.
An avid conservationist with close ties to the fishing and farming communities of New England, Davis embraced the motto of “fresh from the farm and honest to goodness New England cooking” at the restaurant, which this summer opened its courtyard patio with live jazz and its customary delicious menu.
Offering signature cocktails such as the mixed berry mojito using local blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and starters including Maine rock crab or corn chowder with smoked bacon, the creative menu is best known for “Henrietta’s Yard Sale,” a two- or three-course prix fixe option. The nine entrée options can include barbecue ale-braised Elysian Fields Farm pulled lamb shank with farro and smoked bacon, baked scrod with red and yellow beets, or house-made Cheddar and scallion empanadas with jalapeño-cilantro oil.
The Heart Healthy dessert is a grilled lemon olive oil pound cake with blackberry compote and buttermilk ice cream.
The long-standing dedication to local stretches down to the cheese, bread, and beverages. The cheese selection includes no fewer than 10 choices, such as raw cow’s milk Alpine style, buttery and nutty cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, and Camembert from Brookford Farm in New Hampshire. Many beverages come from Massachusetts and Maine distilleries, and even the bread is locally sourced. (Definitely get the cranberry nut bread baked by Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.)
Henrietta’s longstanding farm-to-table food is always a treat, now with the added pleasure of hearing jazz music alfresco on Wednesdays until summer ends.