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.
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.
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