Hudson’s on the Bend, the iconic Hill Country restaurant, reopens tonight, Tuesday, November 22, with fancy upgraded digs under new ownership. Original owner and founder Jeff Blank sold the restaurant to the team behind Prime Thyme Restaurant Group, led by chef Billy Caruso and advanced sommelier Chris McFall.
Also part of that new group are the restaurant’s new chef de cuisine Brandon Silver (with previous stints at Noma and Qui), executive pastry chef Rosie Gibson (formerly of Launderette), beverage director Stephen Keys, and Emily Hines, who is the director of private affairs.
Dish highlights include updated and new game meats, like alligator ribs, wild boar tamale with mole negro, and quail brined in sweet tea, and seafood, like sous vide octopus and hot and crunchy trout. Gibson leans into more savory desserts like the corn pavlova with fruits and cilantro, and the pudding made with chevre and poppy.
Part of the renovations include a new wine cellar, as led by McFall, featuring an emphasis on champagne, bubbles, whites from America, France, and Austria, and older bottles from Lebanon, Greece and Sicily. Cocktails are also on deck, using infused liquors, juices, and more. There will be rotating sangrias and punches, too.
Eater photographer Courtney Pierce took a tour of the renovated space, from the dining rooms, bar, to the outdoor patio, all affixed with rustic decor (find that alligator head). The upgrades were helmed by Ben May Design, which worked on opening up the restaurant while maintaining its core. Interior designer Tabette Stewart of CCG Development helped add those ranch details throughout the space.
Hudson's hours are from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
Blank opened the restaurant in 1984. He also ran the popular tortilla cone truck Mighty Cone, which he sold to Caruso and McFall as well. Caruso's culinary history included partnerships at 24 Diner and Easy Tiger, and an executive chef position at III Forks. McFall worked at Paggi House (along with Caruso), Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston.