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Meaghan

Hudson, 21st & M Streets NW in the old David Greggory Space - Closed

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We've now done two business dinners at Hudson, and both times I've come away pretty satisfied. The menu is, as was mentioned in the review in the Post, an 'everyone's favorites' approach. For business dinners, that means that there is generally always something there for everybody to like, and the service has been very good, unobtrusive but present.

There isn't anything the least bit 'down home' about the setting or the prices--but on both of my visits I've ordered what is essentially comfort food. The French onion soup is fulfilling and (to my taste) a very traditional take. The wild mushroom risotto is fantastic--perfectly cooked and deeply flavorful. The scallops are simply prepared with a bacon/mushroom bed and a pesto dressing. In all of the dishes I've had or seen, there is no attempt at ornamentation, nothing that blows me away with taste/texture/visual combinations that I've not encountered before. But it's solid food.

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Just not good enough.

Ever since six of us left Hudson after dinner last night, I have been thinking of how to sum up our experience, and those four words pretty much spell it out for me. The space was nice and clean, but nothing that caught my attention. The drinks were OK, but pricey for their size and taste (they even had several drinks on their "happy hour menu" that were priced the same on their regular menu). The service was good, but no matter hard we tried, we couldn't coax a smile out of the bartender that was pouring our drinks for 90 minutes before our whole group got there. The fried chicken was fine, but the mashed potatoes and biscuit not so much. The steaks were all cooked right, but they were missing flavor. The short ribs seemed hearty, but the portion size was tiny and the taste was even tinier. Sides of macaroni and cheese and fries cost much more than they were worth, and we were ALL excited about eating them. The apple pie for dessert was great, but was paired with a itty bitty scoop of what I think was Breyer's ice cream.

For one bottle of wine (I actually liked the wine list), six entrees, two side dishes and six desserts, $350 with tax and tip was the damage (we paid our bar tab separately). Didn't cause me to go broke, but definitely made me think, "How did I just drop $120 for dinner and basically get nothing out of it!?"

Hey, the eye candy was VERY nice last night and the patio was pretty peaceful for where it is in the city, but you can't get by on good looks and the location alone, at some point, Hudson is going to have to step it up.

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, but you can't get by on good looks and the location alone, at some point, Hudson is going to have to step it up.

They seem to be doing pretty well at it so far. I'm in the area for dinner a fair amount and stop by somewhat frequently (2-3 times a month maybe?) during the week and it almost always looks packed and I end up going somewhere else instead. I do enjoy a couple of their pizzas fairly well, but not enough to sit at a crowded bar for dinner :-)

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They seem to be doing pretty well at it so far. I'm in the area for dinner a fair amount and stop by somewhat frequently (2-3 times a month maybe?) during the week and it almost always looks packed and I end up going somewhere else instead.

Well there are always lines at the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, and Maggiano's so judging by the crowd they have the right formula for success, but that does not equate to good food, a memorable experience, or for that matter a soulful restaurant.

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Well there are always lines at the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, and Maggiano's so judging by the crowd they have the right formula for success, but that does not equate to good food, a memorable experience, or for that matter a soulful restaurant.

Great analogy.

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It's the Monday after Restaurant Week, and perhaps the most ridiculous day of the year to be casting judgment on a restaurant - this evening, entire kitchen staffs are lying in their electric Recline-A-Beds, with IV drips in their arms restoring much-needed fluids and potassium. But we can still make general comments about portion sizes, right?

Circumstance found me at Hudson this evening (if you must know, I returned a bottle of heat-damaged Sake to The Wine Specialist), where a trusted friend tipped me off to their Matzoh Ball Soup ($7) long ago. In addition, I had an order of Bacon/Cheddar Sliders ($8) from their bar menu, and the first thing that came to mind was Heather Shorter.

Do you remember the Halcion Daze of 2004, when Graig Glufling popularized the Miniburger in this area at Matchbox? Those double-fisted MCI-Center giants might as well have been earth-moving dump trucks when you compare them to what is now quaintly coined a "slider." Do you know why they call them sliders? Because they're the size of a suppository, and you can slide them right up your ass. Literally the size of half-dollars if you're lucky; quarters if you're not, today's slider isn't much more than a dried-out booger on an outsized breadcrumb.

Proof attached,

Rocks.

post-2-125176700464_thumb.jpg

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Do you remember the Halcion Daze of 2004, when Graig Glufling popularized the Miniburger in this area at Matchbox?

Thanks, Don. Graig will be so happy to see this. He left the kitchen a few years ago and has been working in sales for Sysco. He may be in front of a stove again soon, though. I'll be sure to let you know where he lands.

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Do you remember the Halcion Daze of 2004, when Graig Glufling popularized the Miniburger in this area at Matchbox? Those double-fisted MCI-Center giants might as well have been earth-moving dump trucks when you compare them to what is now quaintly coined a "slider." Do you know why they call them sliders? Because they're the size of a suppository, and you can slide them right up your ass. Literally the size of half-dollars if you're lucky; quarters if you're not, today's slider isn't much more than a dried-out booger on an outsized breadcrumb.

Proof attached,

Rocks.

Probably need a road trip to New Jersey: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/09/classic-sliders-white-rose-system-linden-nj-new-jersey.html#continued

[apologies for getting off-er topic]

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Circumstance found me at Hudson this evening (if you must know, I returned a bottle of heat-damaged Sake to The Wine Specialist), where a trusted friend tipped me off to their Matzoh Ball Soup ($7) long ago. In addition, I had an order of Bacon/Cheddar Sliders ($8) from their bar menu, and the first thing that came to mind was Heather Shorter.

Do you remember the Halcion Daze of 2004, when Graig Glufling popularized the Miniburger in this area at Matchbox? Those double-fisted MCI-Center giants might as well have been earth-moving dump trucks when you compare them to what is now quaintly coined a "slider." Do you know why they call them sliders? Because they're the size of a suppository, and you can slide them right up your ass. Literally the size of half-dollars if you're lucky; quarters if you're not, today's slider isn't much more than a dried-out booger on an outsized breadcrumb.

Gosh, thanks Don! :rolleyes::huh: Let me find just the right cliche for those tired old things...how about "Lilliputian?" $8 for those two?

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Closing Friday 9/28 for good.

Sure enough, they're closing. The gentleman I talked with said they're closing "at the end of the month" ... "for renovations." I asked him if they were open until then, and he said they had buyouts, and to check the internet for announcements about when they might be reopening. So, while they may, or may not, be open next week, I wouldn't bank on it without confirmation.

This is an important space (and, dating back to the David Greggory days, has had one of the nicest bars in the area), so it clearly won't be vacant for long.

It has been a long time since I've been in Hudson, but I remember having a really nice bowl of matzah ball soup on my last visit - not a bad final memory. Actually, now that I think about it, I may have had an eggs Benedict out on the patio for brunch with my son - an even better final memory.

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Is this the same space that, once upon a time when I was an undergrad, housed ...

dang. I knew what it was, until I went to type it.

Anyhow, back in the 80s, that was also a place thaht got a great deal of notice. Anyone remember its name? Safari something? Jim something?

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And here's some info on the new place...sounds interesting.

http://www.washingto...f6312_blog.html

From the article:

Aboughaddareh plans to gut Hudson and keep only its pizza oven. Next on his to-do list: hire a chef, a pastry chef and someone to bake fresh bread throughout the day for those sandwiches. The Greenhouse Bistro is expected to open by February.

I'm not going to condemn this place before it opens, and Hudson was certainly not of any great culinary merit, but "gutting" that bar area seems tragic to me - I hope the owner either reconsiders, or does something constructive with that beautiful bar.

Sell it to someone in Union Market to resurrect. Just do something with it.

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I was at Hudson a few months ago. It reeked of mediocrity in every way. It depressed me, especially in that all 3 of the bartenders on staff at the time were recent graduates of our bartending school. But they were all newish and just weren't good with what must have been terrible direction from any experienced staff. and btw: I too thought it was an attractive bar area.

IMHO there is an opportunity for a place to stay open to 5 AM. There is this largish after bar crowd that will go to a place with decent food/ and drinks into the wee hours of the evening when sane people have gone home. Its often a bar business crowd and they spend well while not being too demanding. But in any city there is only so much opportunity, so IMHO you have to be better than anyone else.

Its really a great happy hour and light dining location in my opinion. Good luck to the new guys.

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Is this the same space that, once upon a time when I was an undergrad, housed ...

dang. I knew what it was, until I went to type it.

Anyhow, back in the 80s, that was also a place thaht got a great deal of notice. Anyone remember its name? Safari something? Jim something?

Lord Jim's. It was Lord Jim's.

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