WALLINGFORD — Spring is in full bloom at Henry’s on Route 5, with bright pink and yellow flowers at every table and a new menu of light, seasonal salads, sandwiches and desserts.
“We have a grilled chicken, cranberry and goat cheese salad,” said owner Henry Pellerin of a popular spring menu item. “A lot of lighter fare.”
Since opening in 2016 with his wife, Sheila, Henry Pellerin has been keeping track of menu items customers enjoy the most.
Menu items are often inspired by his upbringing in the restaurant business with his father, who owned several restaurants, including the original Henry’s in Farmington.
“These are things that I learned,” Henry Pellerin said of the recipes. “Things that I learned from him and other cooks along the way.”
The comfort-food style of Henry’s can be seen in the Yankee pot roast dish, which Pellerin initially thought would be a one-time special.
“We saw people coming back for it so it ended up staying all winter,” he said.
With warmer weather ahead, the restaurant will be adding more salads and sandwiches, like the brisket corned beef reuben, made with homemade brisket.
Even the decor is spring-themed, with Easter bunnies scattered around. The restaurant is beginning to take reservations for Easter dinner and Easter pies.
“I like to try to keep it homey and inviting,” said Sheila Pellerin, who makes sure the restaurant is ready for every season and holiday. “Everybody laughs because the first holiday isn’t even done and I’ve changed over.”
A hit year round for the Pellerins is the fried Oreos, dusted with powdered sugar. The treats were introduced last summer and, like the Yankee pot roast, were intended to be a limited item.
Most reviews on social media of the restaurant mention the pot roast and desserts, like seasonal homemade pies.
“We add a little love to everything at Henry’s,” Henry Pellerin said of his passion for the business. “My wife often describes us as the little engine that could, and we really are.”