http://hudsonkitchen.com/ 416.644.8839 $$$ dinner, wed-sun
Its soooooo cute (you know the SNL voice). Anyway I’m here at the official launch of Hudson Kitchen’s charming corner patio to relax and taste Chef Robbie Hojilla’s new seasonal menu while sipping on head bartender, Jay Meyer’s intense “tiki-inspired libations”, created by thinking into the future. Hey, I’m not complaining, however it is the first time I’ve tasted something so, innovative? Read further for a reveal. There so something innocent and dark about this place. Well maybe dark isn’t the right word more like quirky. Yes, innocent with a dark quirkiness.
Sun shines on the whimsical corner patio most of the day, running north, alongside of the restaurant. Hard metal chairs seem slightly uncomfortable at first, however after consuming my first “Planet vs Zombie” cocktail I forget I’m even sitting in a chair – joking! Mixologist Meyer’s explains “to keep the mix right, you must add a touch more rum [for when the ice melts]” – ice is any good bartenders Kryptonite. Being one of the first here I greedily take advantage of the kitchens first offerings: an average deviled egg goes up a notch with chicken crackling, hot sauce; earthy Piquillo pepper seasoned with briny tuna conserva and sherry vinaigrette has a interesting sharpness I quite enjoyed.
Spiced Filipino fried chicken on brioche with adobo mayo is cooled by a layer of crisp iceberg lettuce. Beef short rib, though slightly under-seasoned, sits elegantly on lettuce wraps with Kimchi, Kewpie mayo and wild rice. Grilled cauliflower – so crunchy- coated in sweet brown butter, almond, raisin and capers surprise with lovely texture.
A visually stunning squid croquette packs and unbelievable punch of lemon and wild fennel flavour into a such a small bite. Spring vegetable tostada’s, goat cheese and black bean are more of a visual stimulant. And finally the mackerel Escabeche with shallot hit a nostalgic nerve and melts Hudson Kitchen into my heart, in a briny, astringent way. Can’t wait to come back!