COOL- TRENDY- HEARTY – YOUNG- BRAVE
OUT OF 10
FOOD-7.5 SERVICE-7.5 DECOR-7.5 PRICE- MODERATE VIBE- HIPSTER
Speakeasy has gotten so silly in New York that I had to attempt to pull 2 doors on 2 streets before I found the Entrance to Hudson Clearwater.
Once in the courtyard of this West Village hipster gem the silliness stops there and you get a feeling of warmth and home.
Delicious complimentary Amuse Bouche of Porcini mushroom, creme fraiche, almond and chive
This bustling restaurant is hip and trendy with a hearty menu of cheap to moderately priced dishes.
The waitstaff dressed in plaid were helpful, and on top of it.
Arugula spiced walnuts, st. andré, pear ribbons, vinaigrette ($9) was a simple fresh salad of bitter arugula paired with pear and walnuts; classic and satisfying.
A brave Butter Clams gnocchi, sautéed greens, parsley, lemon vinaigrette ($12) was an interesting soupy dish. The clam broth was wonderful but texturally the clams, kale and gnocchi didn’t really connect. I wish they could do this dish with a thinner pasta that brought the broth and clams together because it did taste very good.
The Monkfish Cheeks special appetizer were amazing. The best dish of the evening they were grilled in a salty butter and served on Chanterelles and Spinach. The fish was so buttery and soft with a tasty crispy outside that I didn’t want to share. The talent of the chef shined on this dish.
At this pricepoint the Atlantic Striped Bass on fingerling potato confit, haricots verts, corn purée and almond-lime pesto ($19) is a good solid dish and best when all elements of the sauce, puree are combined in a bite with the fish. Although smaller than most portion sizes the price means you would order a few dishes and share.
The Crispy Duck Breast on marinated rainbow chard, tarragon roasted potatoes, and peppercorn jus (said to be a signature dish) was understated and the gamey flavour of the Duck was accompanied by the mild peppercorn sauce. The tarragon potatoes and chard were very tasty underneath and at this price is great value.
A side of Roasted Corn, grilled radicchio, spicy house-made farmer’s cheese ($8) turned to be 80% grilled Radicchio and was extremely bitter and oily. I wasn’t impressed with it.
Kale & Fennel Strudel red pepper coulis ($6) was as expected; like a Kale and Fennel Samosa.
Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake mint, chantilly cream ($8) reminded me of going to a friends house where their mother made scones with berries and whipped cream (can you tell I come from a British Colony?). It was yummy and hearty but wasn’t the refinement of a polished dessert. This restaurant feels very much like a better version of hearty home cooking.
I think the amuse bouche and special were their strongest dishes, so they should revisit the menu. Perhaps the chef is growing up faster than the menu is showcasing.
Although a few months old I think Hudson Clearwater has great potential. Great downtown-style staff, cool and charming Village space and courtyard and dishes that are brave and of the moment. They should edit the menu of the few underthought exceptions and let this restaurant shine with the great potential it has as a village Brasserie.
Growing up “Sweet and Meaty”
447 Hudson St. (Morton St.)
Manhattan, NY 10014