The new East Coast-inspired seafood restaurant Hudson House is not a one-trick pony. It brings more than just East Coast fare to Lovers Lane. From their $90 Royal Seafood Tower, featuring specialty oysters, shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare, cracked king crab and poached lobster tail, to their $12 cheeseburger, the management team that brought East Hampton Sandwich Co. to Dallas knows that sometimes we want fancy, but we also crave simpler fare.
The Sunday night crowd gets started early. By 6 p.m., the restaurant is filled with a cross-section of the denizens of Park Cities waiting for tables in this light and lively space. The bar is ample, stretching the length of the restaurant and offering plenty of space to congregate and plenty of servers to offer you a drink while you wait.
The accessible drink menu features several reasonably priced cocktails, including a not-too-sweet Grand Margarita and a Moscow mule, renamed the Lovers’ Mule, both $10. Hudson House offers a couple of local beers for five bucks and rosés by the glass, as well as a stone fruit martini ($12) with just a hint of sweet peach flavor. According to a staff member, a small bar in an alcove at the rear of the restaurant will eventually become a martini bar. If you like to consume food and alcohol in one fell swoop, try one of the $6 oyster shooters or the $18 Royal Bloody, a meal in itself with blue cheese olives, a shrimp cocktail and an oyster.
The wait was brief, and we were seated in one of the blue booths that fill the restaurant. Luckily, our party was only four, since seating for larger parties is limited. You'll want a reservation for groups of six or more. The designers of Hudson House paid attention to acoustics, and although it’s a single room, conversation was never a problem in this well-planned space.
We skipped the $90 seafood tower and opted instead for a sampling of East Coast oysters, $3 each. The oysters were a little small, but the sauces were full of flavor, especially the yuzu vinaigrette and the Champagne ginger pink peppercorn mignonette, but the classic red sauce could have used a dash more horseradish. The shrimp cocktail consisted of five large, well-prepared shrimp accompanied by a deliciously creamy remoulade sauce. We also shared the avocado dip ($10), served with crispy housemade potato chips that our waitress gladly refilled.
The entrée menu is a mixed bag with lots of chicken — two chicken sandwich options for $12 each and three main plates. One didn’t seem to belong, but we had to try it: chicken parmigiana served with a side of spaghetti. This dish was nothing exciting: a thin chicken patty with a sauce that tasted as if it came from a can.
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More to our liking: the grilled trout ($20), flaky and moist, served with a side of lemon butter broccolini, and the Beverly salad ($18), filled with more of those yummy jumbo shrimp. A classic at any East Coast seafood spot is the Big Brother Lobster Roll ($20). While the lobster was not quite plentiful enough to fill out the dense poppyseed bun, the lemon mayo was the perfect balance, just enough to hold the sandwich together without overwhelming the sweet, rich lobster. The lobster roll comes solo, so a side of french fries seemed necessary. The generous order of fries ($6) was presented in a paper cone and sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. It came with a trio of sauces: an addictive ranch dip, remoulade and ketchup.
All told, Hudson house fits perfectly into the neighborhood. When we arrived, the booths were filled with multigenerational families, and by the time we left, the demographic was younger folks (which in Park Cities means 35 to 45) eating oysters and drinking martinis at the bar. The creators of Hudson House certainly know their audience.
Hudson House, 4448 Lovers Lane