It is no secret on the New York City culinary scene that Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson’s takeover of Henry at Life Hotel has breathed life, all puns intended, back into the lobby. For his first partnership with a full-service restaurant, Chef JJ designed a menu that features the African diaspora on a grand marquee – the cuisine that made him a Harlem star.
The food is diverse and organic in its ode to Pan-African culture, incorporating flavors from West Africa, South to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. A meal alone at the revived Henry at Life Hotel, which used to house the LIFE Magazine headquarters, is spectacular and coupled with the expertly crafted cocktails that further educate diners on the depth of the diaspora, it’s nothing short of a worldly experience.
Plantain, Lemon, Ginger, and Bitters blend harmoniously with Bourbon in the “Wait Wait”. Think a New Orleans Bananas Foster on a Caribbean island.
South by Eastside
Tequila, Green Tea Shochu, Cucumber, Shiso, Lime, and Honey marries a Mexican margarita to a Japanese sour. Quite a union.
A refreshing and flavorful blend of scotch, peanut, Concord grape, lemon, and egg white
From Hebrew, “Malka” literally translates to “Queen”. For a cocktail that shakes together Mezcal, Yuzu, Cinnamon, Green Apple, and the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron, the name is fitting.
Ride or Die
Lassi, the traditional yogurt-based drink that originated in India, is somehow enriched at a different level when mixed with Mezcal, Ginger, Passionfruit, Pineapple, Lime, and Vanilla.
Like any other fabulous international getaway, reservations are pertinent.
Henry at Life Hotel details
19 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001; www.henrynomad.com; @henrynomad