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Chez Henri, bar? dining room? recs?

I know there are posts about this but I specifically am looking for recs. I just booked a table for my boyfriend's birthday on Thursday and am trying to decide if it would be better to go to the dining room or if its really worth it to sit at the bar and try the famous cubans. As long as the bar is nice and there are other good options (I was thinking the oysters sounded good as he loves oysters) I think we'd be okay with the bar. It's his 25th birthday so maybe we would fit in better with the crowd there? How do the two compare? Any things to not miss or avoid at either location? Thanks!

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  1. i haven't eaten in the dining room in quite awhile, so can't venture a good comparison. that said, one of my favorite cambridge pastimes is bellying up to the bar for a periodista and cubano. in my opinion, the cubano really is that good.

    the bar can get crowded (it's quite small) and loud, so that might be worth keeping in mind. it's a bar, and it's in cambridge, so yeah the demographic is the Future Tweeds of America.

    1. We haven't been in the DR for ages either but if you sit in the bar you have your choice of bar or DR menu and there ( in addition to the cubano) is always something tempting on both..I am particularly fond of the fritters of the night There are 3 two-tops and 1 four-top in the bar but you need to get there early if you want table bar dining.

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      1. re: capeanne

        yes, good point--you can order off the regular menu at the bar if you're so inclined, but you can't order off the bar menu if you're in the dining room.

      2. I've only ever sat in the bar area and the Cuban is tasty for sure!

        1. one of the first meals i had based on a chowhound rec. was at the bar at chez henri. we split a couple of the snacks - the "study in chiles" sticks out, if they're - plus drinks and dessert. the bill was quite a bit less than a bottle of wine and two dinners would have been.
          this was late december, so im guessing the pumpkin creme brulee is not part of the summer menu, but i still use that as the baseline of what a good creme brulee can be.

          1. The bar is small, but there are still individual tables for two in there; I'd say the ambience is quite suitable for a birthday dinner - it's just cozier than the dining room. In my experience, the clientele doesn't differ too much between the bar and the dining room.

            Personally, I think it's worth sitting in the bar just so you have the option of ordering the thoroughly amazing cubano (as autopi pointed out, you can't get the bar menu in the dining room). but if you feel like having a bit more space/privacy, consider the dining room. either way, you'll do fine.