Hudson Kitchen opened recently on the bustling strip of Dundas West that houses top restos like Bent and L’Ouvrier. We got a sneak peek as Chef Robbie Hojilla sent out some of his key menu items… and we’re not ashamed to say that we were a bit blown away.
For starters, let’s talk about the space. It’s intimate yet somehow roomy, with two dining sections that mix Toronto aesthetic with a more raw, almost warehousey feel. (The shoddy East wall in the front section, for instance, looks like a reno gone wrong… in a really cool way.)
Naturally, cocktails play an important role at Hudson Kitchen, and there’s a bevy of bevvies to quench your thirst. But even with prime mixology on display, our attention was on Chef Hojilla’s stunning cuisine.
We sampled an array of six of Hudson Kitchen’s first menu dishes. (We were told the menu will change with the seasons.) The old adage, “You eat with your eyes first,” is taken into careful consideration in each dish. The Tuna Crudo has pillowy pieces of Albacore Tuna nestled beneath fermented radish. The Chicken Adobo uses negative space on the plate to shock and awe. And the Chocolate Beet Cake looks like a lush bar of fudge. Nothing had an intrinsically relatable flavour; rather, Chef Hojilla plays with balances like acidity and richness to achieve a spectacularly intriguing menu.
Insofar as we’re concerned, Hudson Kitchen is a top contender for Best New Restaurant of 2013. It housed TIFF cast dinners for the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt weeks before it even opened. With care and aplomb, Hudson Kitchen will continue to be an A-list destination on this emerging strip of street.
All images courtesy of: Hudson Kitchen