Photography by Kathy Tran.

Hudson House is known for oysters, fish and seafood towers, but the cheeseburger is the must-try menu item at this highly anticipated new restaurant. Made with two thin patties, American cheese, minced onion, pickles and Hudson sauce, you’ll forget that it’s from a neighborhood seafood joint.

“It’s cheesy and juicy, and people love it,” General Manager Mark Collins says.

The East Coast-inspired restaurant at Abrams Road and Mockingbird Lane features more than 70 pieces of artwork that pay tribute to the landscape and wildlife of the Hudson Valley. The menu is similarly inspired by the culinary history of the region.

Hudson House offers six types of oysters, which are shipped daily from the East Coast. With seemingly few oyster aficionados in land-locked Dallas, the selections are marked with recommendations for first-timers and oyster snobs alike.

Other seafood offerings include Atlantic redfish, salmon, tuna, a lobster roll and fish tacos, but Hudson House has a diverse menu that is constantly evolving under the leadership of new culinary hire James Douglas.

“The whole idea behind our menu is that it is something we have found pleases the crowd, and we’re keeping it small, but dynamic in the ingredients,” Douglas says. “We’re refining the ingredients, going farm to table. People will enjoy it.”

As vice president of culinary for Vandelay Hospitality, Douglas is elevating old dishes like the chicken Parmesan by recreating the sauce and upgrading the pasta with a selection from Eataly. He is also introducing new items like grilled oysters to keep the menu fresh and exciting. Be on the lookout for a molten lava cake that may make its way into the Hudson House dessert rotation.

“We’re in the infancy stages of the culinary program, but we have some great things in store,” Douglas says. “I think we’re very quickly going to be in the upper echelons of the industry.”

The Lakewood restaurant is the brand’s third location. The first outpost opened in Highland Park in 2017, followed by a location in Addison in 2018. When looking for a third site, Vandelay CEO Hunter Pond was attracted to the neighborhood with its mix of newlyweds, families and older couples.

“Hudson House does a really nice job of executing on a high level without being absurdly expensive,” Lakewood neighbor Alex Winslow says. “It’s comfortable, professional and a great addition to the neighborhood.”

The location was expected to open in early 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed the best-laid plans. Instead, it debuted to great fanfare in July in a former IHOP that relocated to Arboretum Village in 2018.

For those grieving the loss of IHOP pancakes, fear not. Hudson House’s brunch menu incorporates creations that rival the popular pancake chain. Take the chicken and waffles. Hudson House’s version includes a red velvet Belgian waffle with honey butter, maple syrup and double-fried chicken. The lemon pancakes will also satisfy any sweet tooth with lemon ricotta, powdered sugar, cream cheese glaze, blueberries and whipped cream.

Bagels and cream cheese are delivered every weekend from newly opened Shug’s Bagels, located just down the road on Mockingbird Lane. Try six of Shug’s signature creations at Hudson House without waiting in the massive line that forms outside the bagel shop.

But the months-long hype surrounding Hudson House has drawn its own crowd. Some neighbors have shared on social media that the restaurant often appears too crowded. Collins says restaurant staff seat guests in every other booth and do not allow people to wait in the lobby for a table.

“We’re struggling like everyone else, but we do the best we can for our guests,” Collins says.

Hudson House’s daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. is popular for its half-price drinks, oysters and famous cheeseburger, but neighbors hoping to avoid groups may want to skip happy hour and miss other peak dining times. Customers can socialize with their pandemic pod in the Pineapple Room, a private dining nook that seats eight guests.

Not willing to brave indoor dining just yet? Hudson House prepped for an extensive to-go business before opening. Food ordered online is available for takeout and delivery via UberEats.

“We’ve been so well accepted,” Collins says. “We don’t want to disappoint. We try to be the best restaurant in town.”

Hudson House, 4040 Abrams Road, 241.363.2882, hudsonhousehp.com


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