When you’re told, “this is one of my favorite restaurants” by a native New Yorker, you should do a little dance and hug that person because you’re in for a treat.
That was pretty much my exact reaction as we set foot into Hudson Clearwater Restaurant, a quaint restaurant, and hidden gem, located in the West Village. And when I say ‘hidden’ gem,’ I’m not exaggerating… the restaurant can only be found by locating a hidden green door just off to the side. It kinda made me wish there was a secret handshake to gain access to the restaurant (I may or may not have made one anyway).
Since I’m such a lush, my eyes typically go straight to the wine list, but not this time. The mixology-based cocktail manu menu started flirting with me, and everyone knows I can’t resist a good-looking man cocktail, especially when it winks at me. After skimming the menu, we decided on two completely different concoctions to mix-it-up. Since I was feeling spicy and hot, and my 5-inch heels were calling for it, I decided to order Calacas, which is a combination of jalapeno tequila, beet, lime, agave and chili-Himalayan salt. The perfect balance of sweet and spicy. We also had to order the signature cocktail called Hudson Mule, which consisted of bison-grass vodka (where do they find these flavors), ginger beer, lime and candied ginger. At first, I wrinkled my nose to the thought of candied ginger, but after trying the crystallized garnish, I wanted more. As we sipped our cocktails and browsed the rustic American menu, we finally came to a conclusion, ‘let’s order everything!’ Oh wait, let me start again. As we sipped our cocktails and browsed the rustic American menu, we finally came to a conclusion that we were starving, and if we didn’t order soon, we might have ordered everything on that damn delicious menu.
We started with sides, including surprisingly sweet shaved Brussels sprouts mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, honeycrisp apple and caramel, and leek and potato-cauliflower gratin topped with a radish salad. Is this real life?? If the sides are this good, our taste buds were screaming with excitement. For an appetizer we chose the juicy and succulent pan roasted quail with fennel, fernet cherries and pickled mustard seeds. The pickled mustard seeds was such a great topping that I accidentally scooped ALL of the seeds onto my plate (oopsie!).
For our main entrees we ordered:
ATLANTIC SEA BASS with sautéed swiss chard, wild mushrooms, celery root puree and pistachio oil. Oh, so buttery and delicious.
DUCK BREAST with smashed root vegetables over black kale in a stock-based peppercorn Veloute.
At the end of dinner, we sat back and realized there was nothing left on our plates. Full and satisfied. This place is so yummy that I don’t know why I’m sharing my new secret spot with you. I guess we can keep this between us… and those that can find that hidden green door.
For all of Husdon Clearwater Restaurant’s information see below: