Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Restaurant Week Vol. 1: Hudson's on the Bend

I eat meat. Yeah, I eat meat like nobody's business. ~ Tina Fey in Baby Mama
My sister and I kicked off Austin Restaurant Week with a Sunday night dinner at Hudson's on the Bend. The last time I ate at Hudson's was in 1986 when I met my soon-to-be husband turned ex-husband's parents for the first time. Despite the nerves and the free flowing alcohol, I remember enjoying a fantastic meal. I don't know why it's taken me over a year since moving back to Austin to give it another try, but ARW offered the perfect excuse.

Between the two of us, we ate bits and pieces of a menagerie of wildlife that included duck, buffalo, deer, rabbit, boar, fish, and quail. I'd say we were only a frog and a cat shy from eating the entire Beatrix Potter collection. I would feel guilty, except that I don't, because all of these adorable creatures are just so yummy. R.I.P. Jemima Puddle-Duck.

My sister and I both chose the lobster bisque as our appetizers. Before we even tasted the bisque we were impressed with the porcelain Bernardaud china upon which it was served. Stupid me, I didn't take a picture, but, this is what the bowls looked like.

Back to the food. The bisque was served with a bit of fanfare. The bowls were served empty save for a hunk of lobster claw and a slice of Asiago cheese. Then, the server poured the hot soup over everything in the bowl. It was a little heavy on the tomato base, but had a good kick of chipotle spice.

For the entree, my sister ordered the mixed grill, which accounted for a good portion of the animal products. The mixed grill was a sampler of grilled venison, rabbit, house-made sausage and grilled buffalo all topped with different sauces. It was a perfect dish to highlight what Hudson's does best, preparing wild game for civilized people who secretly yearn for the taste of a fresh kill.

I ordered the pecan smoked duck, shingled with diver scallops.The duck was prepared very well as were the scallops, but the combination seemed kind of pointless. The pairing of shredded sweet potato and wild boar confit as a side dish, however, was inspired.

The menu listed the dessert as Chambord Chocolate Mousse with Legs of Fudge. Served in a large wine glass, chocolate fudge lined the bottom with chocolate mousse filling up the rest of the glass. The "legs" were created by mimicking the way swirling wine forms petal shaped streaks on the inside of the glass. The fact that I ate all of it and tried to scrape the chocolate off the sides of the glass indicates that I liked it a lot. Because, I eat chocolate. Yeah, I eat chocolate like nobody's business.

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  1. Sounds like you two had a great time! I love when bisque is served like that!

  2. Thanks Steph. I just love me some some bisque. Which reminds me, I'm hungry.