Every gourmet grocery store goody one could possibly ponder is offered at Hubbell & Hudson. Just walking through the market to reach the bistro is fantastically fulfilling. Whether it be shopping in the market, or taking a cooking class upstairs, prepare to get lost in the plethora of chef coats scattered about the building.
Located snug as a bug at the back of the market is the… bistro. The first time I wandered in to take a look at the menu, the subdued hostess with the mostess offered a ginormous menu, as she asked the always annoying, “Only one???”
Hostess 101: Average humans dining a la carte would probably prefer a different method to alert them of your sudden knowledge they are alone.
After hearing a chef friend speak so highly of his BFF, chef Austin Simmons, who is running the kitchen, it was time to give it a shot. Sunday Brunch began one sunny afternoon on the patio. The only way to begin brunch is with the fruitiest drink in which you can think.
Let us not waste a moment before speaking of the superior skills of my magnificent brunch server. Incredible in every way… He fits smack dab in the career waiter category. A guy so amazingly majestic at his job, it is not unreasonable to think he could ultimately make a successful career out of it. So excellent are his skills, if Star Chefs recognized Star Servers… he would be irrefutable. He knows EVERY detail of the preparation of EVERY app, entrée, salad, dessert… you name it.
Kudos with a side curtsy.
The cold smoked salmon is cooked in a rice wine vinegar which brings a tid bit of sweetness to the fish. It is served with Asian slaw, as well as Asian vinaigrette, and topped with opal basil.
Chef Simmons prepared an extra special seared sashimi tuna to taste before entrée arrival. H & H’s menu offers ahi tuna with black pepper, seaweed salad, and spicy mango habanero sauce. Other starters suitable for AVH are seasonal fruit & crème fraiche, as well as an artisan pastry.
Stuffed like a duck’s neck on a foie gras farm, cough, I could barely eat my eggs benedict entrée… one poached egg with hollandaise sauce, raspberry, and ginger. Other “benedicts” on the menu are kobe, sirloin, ham & cheese, and a truffled benedict consisiting of Italian truffle hollandaise, and prosciutto de parma.
The desserts during brunch seal the dining deal. Warm lemon & rosemary scented cake… Texas pecan square…valrhona molten chocolate cup, crème brulee Catalan… croissant pudding, thin Granny Smith apple tart… hand-made gelato & almond tuile. Mouthwatering…
The clock is ticking… Time to discuss the service endured during a most recent visit to Hubbell & Hudson. Most people welcome that once or twice in a lifetime server that “over does it.” Um, the one that will simply not go away. We are all used to service that is either lacking or overall peaking perkiness, but this particular server threw a curve ball in from outer space, thus adding an ingredient to the recipe I never would have expected.
First of all, eye contact is somewhat key while speaking to a table. The key part being: Pretend you are aware of the other customer, A.K.A. the… female. After opening a bottle of wine, announcing specials, two appetizers, one soup, and an entrée, um, you need to get over yourself.
Beat it. Get lost. Scram.
There is no exaggeration when saying this server frequented our table no less than 30 times in one hour. When I say frequent, I mean an arrival possessing a massive skin crawling sashay with a mini hang out slash hair tousle. Her “I’m a librarian ready to take my hair down” attention was aimed at the person maintaining a gender status of…male.
Wow + Ouch = Wouch.
As a matter of fact, in between purring like a kitten, she almost… giggled. There is no alternative than to give this server a… Double Stop Hitting On My Date For A Better Tip Wow.
Moving right along…
Soup joy at its very best…
There is nothing better than a soup pouring spectacle at the table. Ah, the little things in life can feel so… big. The tomato basil soup consists of organic ricotta ravioli pesto, Hubbell & Hudson evoo, and mini croutons. For those humans possessing rookie acronym status, um, evoo means… extra virgin olive oil.
Although frightening for AVH, the seared Hudson Valley foie gras, double gulp, was a hit for my dining companion. This foie gras dish is topped with gold chanterelle cream, black truffle honey, and Honeycrisp apples.
The black truffle risotto is DELICIOUS… Aged acquerello carnaroli rice, young celery leaves, and balsamic reserve all work together to produce this fantastic dish of epic delish. All the while knowing my impending behavior would ultimately gross my date out, as well as break several Emily Post etiquette essentials, there was no turning back. In another slow motion moment, my finger suddenly smooshed onto the bowl and slid around ever so slightly, ending so gloriously in my mouth, thus causing all signs of leftover risotto to be nonexistent.
Ten thousand apologies, sir.
Presentation of the pan roasted sea bass is exceptional. Staring before tasting is the only option. It’s gorgeous! The sea bass is ginger glazed with baby bok choy & wasabi parsnip purée. Listed as another entrée choice is the pan seared Maryland jumbo lump crab cake. H & H also has black iron seared diver scallops with black aquerello risotto, baby ratatouille, polenta fried calamari rings, saffron aioli, and tomato powder.
Finally, the bill was paid and it was time to sit at the bar. Here is my towel. Take it. Consider it officially being thrown in. In order for dessert to be consumed at the very table causing substantial mental anguish, a WWF wrestler would have to put me in a kneeling figure four leg lock while having my neck clamped in a sleeper choke hold. I’d rather someone smack honey on my face and stick me in a closet with a bee hive.
Yes, that’s right.
Oh how I enjoyed my crème brulee in the solitary confinement of the… bar. By the way, the bartender is gorgeous, yet respectfully refrained from giving my date a lap dance. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
The joy became monumental as the most beautiful replica of Patsy Cline began to belt out classics. It can’t be stressed enough how talented this singer at Hubbell & Hudson truly is. Her voice is angelic, with charisma that is naturally smashing.
Let’s ponder the thought of what good service really is. It isn’t about how often you visit a table, or if you leave your shift with a new fella. It’s communicating without overstepping boundaries. After experiencing service as I did while having brunch during the previous visit, I’m positive Hubbell & Hudson has adequate staff with excellent training. Overall, the prices are hefty, but the food is enjoyable. I would recommend giving Hubbell & Hudson a chance. My advice, bring a book & leave your date at home.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch