Statesman's Matthew Odam awarded one of the best dining experiences of the year at now shuttered Hudson's on the Bend, which is unfortunate, since the restaurant is now closed. The once-iconic Hill Country restaurant was recently renovated and reopened only to abruptly shutter after Valentine’s Day this week. The critic went ahead and published his review anyway.
In spring of 2016, the original owner and founder Jeff Blank sold the fine dining restaurant to Prime Thyme Restaurant Group, led by chef Billy Caruso and advanced sommelier Chris McFall. The group then revamped and reopened the sentimental favorite to much applause last November. Regarding a recent visit, Odam reported:
Almost every table was occupied at some point in the night, and the time lapse of the evening likely captured everything the new owners hoped they’d see when they reopened Hudson’s. A 30-something couple commemorated a special occasion by having staff take their photo. An older couple looked with awe at a space they just barely recognized but certainly admired. A table full of wine lovers in the back, obvious Hudson’s veterans, took turns visiting the new wine room, and a large group of young professionals celebrated a friend’s birthday [...]
While there were stumbles during Odam’s first visit (namely inconsistent dishes and bad music), Hudson’s recovered during the second visit, ultimately earning praise for delivering “one of my most enjoyable dining experiences of the year.” The heirloom corn tamale with braised short rib, espresso rubbed elk back strap, and pappardelle pasta were all spotlighted. The critic described the hot and crunchy trout as nearly perfect. He continued with this unanticipated comparison:
One thing you’d never have expected of the old Hudson’s would be for it to remind you of a hip restaurant like Uchi, but that’s exactly what Caruso pulled off with a seared slab of foie gras glistening with wagyu caramel and topped with the crunch of puffed amaranth ($25).
So while rumors swirl as to why the restaurant closed so quickly, one thing is certain: The second act for Hudson’s on the Bend surpassed expectations — even if only for a few months.
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