Restaurant Review: Hudson 29

It's not every day you find a buttonhole at the corner of your spiffy cloth napkin.

But if the occasion arises, even an uncouth HotPockets eater knows that the dinner napkin is clearly designed to attach to a shirt button for better apparel protection.

Selfies would normally follow this sort of culture victory, but for the fervent commands of table-mates to 'TAKE THE NAPKIN OFF". People get all uppity and serious in Hudson 29. It's sort of upscale and special.

You know it's special because there are bowls and bowls of artichokes as entryway decor. Fascinating. Some tables have candles and other have succulent plant centerpieces that look like artichokes.

That’s art (art-ichoke).

Like every other Cameron Mitchell restaurant, the servers are divinely, earnestly gracious. It’s always the subject of whispered table conversation; there is wonder at how anyone can be so nice to all the masses of humanity that enter the doors.

And there is lots of humanity there, most of it looks to be well-heeled. Lane Avenue, it seems, is a gold mine for the restaurant empire.

The menu is diverse. There’s a pizza/flatbread section, a sushi section, a sandwich section and an entree section. It’s a whole bunch of things, all of it in a dark, lux environment with a little bit of Cameron Mitchell signature clamor.

Campari Tomato Flatbread ($10) is a nice way to kick things off. It’s a skinny pizza -oval-shaped, with lots of fresh basil and soft melty mozzarella clinging to a thin, savory crust.

Or continuing on the classic theme, there are salads too: the Caesar ($7) has a generous supply of dressing, it thoroughly coats the small shreds of romaine. The treatment makes the salad rich, along with croutons and shards of parmesan wafers. That’s right, it has crunchy chips made of pure parmesan cheese; that’s a win right there.

But then there’s stuff like Steak and Enchilada ($25). Though totally approachable, it’s not a combo you see every day on a menu. At Hudson 29, the steak is served sliced, alongside an epic pile of corn, speckled with really good tomatoes, cucumber, radishes and avocado. The enchilada cuddles in there, with a delicate shell, cheese and an earnest, home-spun enchilada sauce.

Or there’s Rigatoni Bolognese ($15), it has a cheaper price tag, but still provides a big supply of pasta with a slow braised beef ragu.

One of the favorite menu finds has been the Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich ($14). The long sub is cut into three sections, which makes it look delicate and cute, but it’s really a manwich at heart: juicy fried chicken, havarti, and it looks like someone snuck a marinated kale leaf inside there too. Perfect.

Speaking of kale, a kale and couscous salad is available as a side (as are french fries, a feta-tomato combo and several other things). It’s a fun salad; the grain is prominent, but it’s nicely polluted with a light dressing, kale, raisins, almonds and a few thin slices of radishes.

April 30, 2014
Miriam Bowers Abbott
Columbus Underground
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