Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink (Facebook / @cmrcolumbus / Instagram: @cmrcolumbus)
1600 W. Lane Ave. (map it!)
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Open Mon-Thurs, 11:30a-10p; Fri, 11:30a-11p; Sat, 11a-11p; Sun, 11a-9p (brunch served Sat & Sun, 11a-3p)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/Y
Visited: Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
Although new Cameron Mitchell restaurants tend to enter the world to great fanfare, Hudson 29 flew under the radar for me, especially compared to spots like The Guild House, The Pearl, and The Barn. I think because I didn’t quite know what it was all about, and I never quite made arrangements to visit. But now we have, thanks to a kind invitation from the folks at CMR.
Hudson 29 is situated down Lane Avenue in a new development across from the Whole Foods and the Shops at Lane. The restaurant has been in the news a little more, as a second Hudson 29 opened in New Albany just recently. Both Hudson 29s take their name from two sources: owner Cameron Mitchell’s education at the Culinary Institute of American in the Hudson River Valley, and Route 29, the main road running through Napa Valley, California.
But let’s talk about brunch! Like all Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Hudson 29 is focused on the lunch/dinner/drinks experience, with a solid weekend brunch on the table, too.
Our visit took place on a quiet Sunday a couple weeks ago. The restaurant is a long corner space, beginning with a bar area and booths, then moving back to a main dining room (plus a patio out front).
We got right to work on the brunch menu, starting with drinks for the adults. The beverage menu includes a small round of cocktails, draft beers, and a hefty wine selection. Brunch put us more in the cocktail mood. Mrs. Bfast w/Nick opted for the bourbon and honey (can’t go wrong with that combination, right?) built with Woodford Reserve bourbon, honey, and grapefruit juice. The sweetness of the honey is a nice balance to the sour grapefruit, making this a very light and refreshing drink.
Hudson 29 also bottles some of their own cocktails. The Blood Orange Margarita combines tequila, blood oranges, and lime. I normally stay away from margaritas, I think because I associate them with syrupy TGI Fridays versions, but this cocktail – served in its own bottle – reads more like a tangy fruit juice with a bite, something to easily sip with brunch.
Our server was very helpful in making suggestions from the menu. The brunch menu features the usual appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees, plus a small sushi menu, but we didn’t stray far from the small brunch section. And why would we? I mean, the brunch menu starts with pineapple upside donuts. They were an easy sell, especially when they came out piping hot, soft, generously rolled in sugar, and served with a caramel dipping sauce. I for one am certainly hoping donut appetizers on brunch menus are more than a trend.
Our server also recommended the dip trio: tortilla chips with scoops of guacamole, hummus, and a smoked trout spread. All were excellent, with a special preference (by the adults, at least) for the smoked trout. We would have been happy just diving into a bowl of that.
We also sampled the Bloody Mary, which wasn’t particularly spicy but was balanced in flavor and texture.
As parents, we have to note special appreciation for CMR eateries and other restaurants whose kid’s menus reach beyond the chicken fingers and fries. It makes kids so much more a part of the experience, and it teaches them to expand their culinary horizons. I mean, they’re future customers, so it’s smart to educate them now. This is the kid’s menu at Hudson 29, with everything from roasted chicken to smoked salmon, a cheeseburger, even prime rib and pasta.
We let our boys do the choosing. One gave the pepperoni flatbread a definitive thumbs up.
The other wanted the cheeseburger. As an adult, I would have been happy with either of these as entrees. The cheeseburger was especially good – it’s one of Hudson 29’s specialties – and the portions for both dishes ensured leftovers.
For our main entrees we ordered up the short rib hash. I think short ribs are a perfect centerpiece for a good hash. This version was beautifully plated with poached eggs, a little bit of lime and cotija cheese, and a bright tomatillo lime sauce. The sauce reminded me of one I had on a smoked chicken hash at The Guild House. It’s sweet, and if you’re not careful it can overpower the dish a bit.
Our server had been talking up her favorite house-made side dish, made with corn, avocados, radish, and tomato, so we ordered a small plate of it. It’s dominated by the corn, but is still bright and fresh, a good accompaniment to many of the main dishes.
If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for eggs benedict, and I was certainly in the mood on this visit. It’s hard to argue with a solid hollandaise and the use of rosemary ham. I’m finding I like a thinly-sliced and well-seasoned cut of meat on my benedicts. They add a nice punch of flavor and they’re easy to slice with a fork. Hudson 29’s benedict is served with a notable side salad with just the right amount of a sweet vinaigrette.
As you can see, there’s a lot to recommend about Hudson 29’s brunch. We barely scratched the surface of the food and drink menus, and it’s worth delving deeper, especially if you’re a wine aficionado.
This visit was provided by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Opinions are my own.