My husband and I LOVE this place. We eat here whenever we have a free evening or for brunch whenever we can. It's THAT good. It's always our first choice.
Matt Hudson is a gem - an old school restaurateur who remembers customers and greets every table. The cuisine is outstanding. We are NYC foodies (admittedly, food snobs) who moved to Rockland a few years back. High quality restaurants of appeal to a sophisticated or educated palate are veeeeeery scarce in Rockland County. The Hudson House, Peter Kelly's outposts (Xaviers and the neighboring wine bar, Restaurant X, etc.) and Sparkill Steak House are really the only true NYC-quality fine dining around.
The menu is outstanding - entrees change periodically to feature season-appropriate ingredients but always features some classics, like Steak au Poivre, a fish and a chicken. Small plates are also great options...i love the shrimp and grits. Have had oysters there numerous times, and the selection of east coast and west coast are always fresh and flavorful. Brunch is always a treat. Solid eggs benedict, a juicy grilled half-grapefruit, and other combos of expected and unexpected abound.
Desserts are OFF THE CHART delicious. Matt himself bakes/makes them every day. Don't miss the banana cream pie w/ chocolate crust, key lime pie, or the sticky toffee ginger cake, i think it was called? That sticky toffee cake is my favorite and unlike ANYTHING we've ever had before. We (ok - I) actually can't go there without ordering it. (MY husband has more self-control in the dessert department.)
Mixed drinks are artfully crafted and I would not hesitate to call the bartender a mixologist. A vastly overused / cliched term these days, a flavored martini at Hudson House is handcrafted with fresh juices, pieces of fruit and an appropriate amount of liquor, making each absolutely delicious and difficult to stop at just one or two. No martini here is made from cheap, off-the-shelf mixes (i.e. green apple. mojito, pear, cosmo, etc.) that make drinks taste like one is sipping straight dyed rubbing alcohol. These are DELICIOUS cocktails.
Service is outstanding. Beyond Matt, the wait staff is highly efficient, knowledgeable and simultaneously warm, all seemingly experienced. No kids here looking to make a few bucks. They are all professional, and the turn over of wait staff seems absurdly low, because many of them who we met our first times here several years back are still there and smiling each time we return.
The decor is simple but lovely. Tables with booth backs/soft bench seating along the walls and stand alones in the center of the room. The bar has a bit of seating at it, as well as several high top tables. (All are usually filled by those who didn't make reservations.) The walls are adorned with photos of the area, including of the TZB, Hudson River, the moon over the water, etc. Matt took them himself.
As for those reservations referred to above, it's wise to make them for special occasions as this place is packed from early until late on weekends. However, Matt knows the value of good customer service and always tries to seat walk-ins if at all possible. He and his expert staff understand how to discreetly turn over a seating or to extend the experience based on traffic. (One particular place around here that fancies itself "haute" cuisine turns reservation-less walk-ins away even if the restaurant is half empty...)
We have NEVER had anything but a first rate experience here. Most importantly, it is CONSISTENT quality. There's no nonsense - just outstanding food, service and an astute owner who makes every customer feel welcome and appreciated.
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