Exploring Local: Ten Foot Henry

This blog seems to be something that I’m always working on then leaving again. With an uneventful winter and quite frankly, being tired of cooking for myself after these last few years…. I’m ready to get out and see the world again. Tourism and hospitality industries have been hit especially hard through the last two years and it’s time that we get out and support them.

Growing up in Calgary, I can remember when it was a small(ish) city that really embraced the western lifestyle and ambiance. There was a time where every bar had “Irish” or “Saloon” in the name. You’d be hard pressed to find something other than a steak house if you wanted to go out for a nice dinner. The culinary scene has really taken off here and now there’s something for everyone. Whatever your poison is, in terms of gastronomy or mixology, you can find it here in Calgary. And it’s good.

This brings me to todays exploration. A restaurant called Ten Foot Henry. Aja Lapoint and Steve Smee are the brains behind this space that opened in 2016. It has an unusual name but one that is based off of an old comic book character that found it’s way into a Calgary punk rock nightclub in the 1980’s sharing the same address. It was a carboard cut out of “Henry” that was literally ten feet tall with a blank thought bubble to hold whatever thoughts you might have while dancing the night away to the latest release from the Dead Kennedy’s or the Misfits. In doing some research on the subject I found that one of the most common thoughts was “Depressing, Isn’t it?”. Some things never change with generations I suppose.

Charred Cabbage (Walnut vinaigrette, brittle, manchego)

The menu is very vegetable forward (Don’t worry, there’s meat and fish available too for you carnivores!) and the plates are geared towards sharing. I love the idea of a communal meal with someone. I think it’s a lot easier to bond with your group over a truly shared meal. It’s something that really brings people closer through their dining experience and is something that should be adopted by more places. They have an extensive and pretty complete wine and cocktail menu as well that pairs well with whatever you decide to dig into.

Cauliflour (Spicy gochujang, sesame, scallion, ginger) and Roasted Chicken (peperonata, aji verde)

The food itself was all incredible. There was a great balance of savoury, spicy and sweet flavours in every dish.

The restaurant itself is fashioned in a sort of modern industrial minimalist style that’s become popular and is one that I’m quite fond of myself. It follows the same idea as the dishes. Simple, without missing anything and ultimately something that draws you in makes you want to spend time there.

The servers and staff were all very attentive and knew the menu very well too when we asked how to go about navigating it. They were quick to point out their favourites and to let us know what most guests have been known to pick. Spoiler: the cabbage is one of those items and I strongly advise that it makes it to your list when you go.

The entire meal from start to finish was great. This menu is one that I’ll have to go back to explore more of as it did not disappoint and I’m sure it will not do so in the future.

You can find Ten Foot Henry’s website Here if you want to book a table or look at the menu yourself. Otherwise you can find them at 1209 1st Street SW.

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