During my recent trip to New York, I had one night to myself. I was so excited! Then I got there and it was pouring down rain, cold and windy. Boooo! NYC is a walking city and it was not walking weather.
Luckily I was staying at a really fun hotel with an interesting restaurant concept! I stayed at the Hudson on W 58th (very close to Lincoln Center & Central Park). The hotel - it's very hip. Dark, funky and unique. The rooms - the size of a cracker box of course. All of the girls remarked about the lack of room in the bathrooms - if you're over 5'5" - it's not gonna work for you. But - it's very cool.
I was starving and decided to check out Hudson Hall. It's a very unique dining experience - it's a fancy, funky cafeteria.
I was seated at this giant chair and felt very regal. The seating is long communal tables - which is a bit intimidating when you're by yourself. But - it's dark - so I didn't feel too out of place. It was hard to take pictures inside - the walls are all giant picture frames. They had 70s rock concert videos playing but the music wasn't matching the videos. It was unique - but funky. Definitely a "You're not in Kansas anymore Toto!" moment.
I LOVED the concept - it was so different. A fancy cafeteria - whodathunkit?
sambal and puff rice. I should have gotten these - I'm so bad at making decisions when all the food is in front of me. I really like brussel sprouts (thanks Dad - he made me eat every vegetable as a kid).
Sous Vide Short Ribs with fresh horseradish ($14)! I'm a self-professed Top Chef Junkie and have heard the term "sous vide" so many times - I had to finally try it!
Sous vide is French for "under vacuum" and is a method of cooking food sealed in air tight plastic bags in a water bath for a long time - apparently 72 hours. :-)
Sous vide should really just mean delicious! These short ribs literally fell apart as I ate them. They were rich and juicy. I didn't realize they had horseradish (I wasn't paying close enough attention) and there definitely was a pungent taste but it was so amazing. Almost like a salt & vinegar chip - it's strong and a little off-putting, then completely addicting. I enjoyed every bite!
garlic confit & thyme ($8). Confit - another term you hear a lot on the cooking shows. Confit is basically a means of preserving food in a substance - duck confit is immersed in duck fat, garlic confit is typically garlic soaked in olive oil.
The potatoes were fine - I should have been more adventurous. I could definitely taste the garlic and salt and there were crispy pieces, soft pieces and everywhere in between. They were good but I wish I'd tried the brussel sprouts or something more adventurous. Shame on me!
The dessert options were pretty nice - they had these incredibly huge donuts and one was even coconut cream...but it seemed a little too giant. I decided on the dainty cup of pudding.
Dainty it was not! It was extremely rich - I almost couldn't finish it after filling up on meat & potatoes! It was so good - the different textures were great. The chocolate was almost like a thick creme brulee, the peanut butter was fluffy like mouse and then the crumbles and peanuts added crunch and a little salt.
Why Should You Go? Not expecting my Cincinnati folks will hop on a plane to go - but if you're in NYC - it's a great option. The hotel is funky and cool - very chic feeling - and pretty affordable for NYC. (I stood out like a sore thumb - it's the Iowan in me.) The food was excellent and I liked it even more than the place we went the next night! (review coming...) It's so different to have this cafeteria like set-up - I loved the uniqueness of it. The food definitely did not disappoint.
The best part was there was something for everybody - if you're not adventurous - a slider & fries is a good choice. If you are adventurous - the cheese plate looked pretty unique and there were lots of other funky options. I also like that the menu is always changing - so I can't wait to go again next time I'm in the city!