Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Currently Obsessed With: Hudson North

Have you guys ever heard of a pop-up restaurant? I’ve heard of mobile food trucks, but never of a pop-up—until I stumbled onto Hudson North in Atlantic Station. 

For a concept that’s pretty self-explanatory—a restaurant “pops up” practically overnight and has a concrete expiration date—it’s amazing how much work went into Hudson North. The cozy new restaurant is the love project of Jenn and Billy Streck, who you might recognize as the owners of another popular Atlanta eatery (and one of my personal faves). 

It only took the husband-and-wife team a little over a week (!) to transform the former Grape space into a warm, welcoming neighborhood favorite. But during that week, so much thought and care poured into this pop-up. Since the couple grew up in New York, they brought their most cherished touches of home to Hudson North: The nautical-themed décor, the floating candles in mason jars, the compass stencils on tables, the old school telephone and typewriter behind the bar. 

Perhaps the most fun part of the décor for you, the patron, is getting your name on The Wall. If you submit it, Jenn will write your name—man, does she have good penmanship—on wooden planks that line the back wall of the restaurant. Talk about customer appreciation! 

But let’s talk about the food: A.maze.balls. Literally everything on the menu is to die for. For an appetizer, try the scallop crudo (it will change your life) or the tuna tartar. If you’re not into raw seafood, try them anyway. If you’re really not into raw food, go for the figs with bacon or the ricotta-parmesan fritters. 

For your main dish, I highly recommend the scallops. Despite the popularity of the dish, the scallops are cooked perfectly every time (I’ve eaten here a few (ahem, like 10) times now), and the creamed corn they’re served on is the best creamed corn I’ve ever had. I don't think I've ever said that about creamed corn...

Other seafood options are the seared tuna over fingerling potatoes and the shrimp over lamb sausage and cannellini beans—holy deliciousness! For meat lovers, there’s also the braised short rib with root veggies or the good ole’ burger—both are perfection. 

The deserts are pretty great as well—the brownie has bacon bits in it!—and are served in mason jars (I’m a big fan of continuity). 

THE VERDICT: This place is truly relaxing. You can share a lengthy (but effortless) meal with a big group here or come for pre-movie cocktails to impress your date (Hudson North is right across from the Regal 24 cinema). But the pop-up is only open through December 31, so don’t put off your trip any longer.