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Hudson Cafeteria

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Hudson Cafeteria

Address: 356 West 58th Street
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10019
Phone: (212) 554-6500
Map: Map
Cuisine: Eclectic
Area: West 50s


The Hudson Cafeteria is perhaps the oddest named restaurant in New York. Located on the second floor of Ian Schrager's chic Hudson Hotel, the elegant surroundings, dominated by an open kitchen, is as far from a take-a-tray, steam-table place as you could imagine. If you've never visited the Cafeteria – or even if you have – summer is the perfect time to stop in, since you can now eat outdoors on the Hudson's magnificent terrace. Another good reason to try the Cafeteria is that renowned chef Matthew Kenney (who just opened the much-talked-about Pure Food and Wine) came in this spring to refine the menu. And there's no better way to sample it than by making a meal out of appetizers and salads; they are not cheap ($11-$18) but they are quite generously portioned. A quartet of firm shrimp wrapped in delicious Niman Ranch bacon are coated in a tantalizing sweet-spicy tomato jam and set atop a platter of avocado chunks; a sextet of seared tuna slices are also perched on that same avocado along with a tangle of citrus-dressed watercress; and a trio of lettuce leaves envelop superb ginger-glazed slices of beef, cucumber and a mélange of cooked mushrooms and carrots, accompanied by a ramekin of Thai-flavored peanut sauce. Salad-wise, you must choose the platter of romaine, blue cheese and walnuts in a light nutty dressing, which is essentially a brilliant re-imagination of the Caesar. Entrees run the gamut here from comfort food faves like macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and burgers to far more sophisticated fare. The shellfish risotto was a bit heavy on the curry, but the excellent scallops, shrimp and lobster are fine compensations, while a filet mignon with herbed French fries will please the meat-and-potato lover. The dessert menu is equally eclectic, ranging from a gingered rice pudding brulee to a mango upside down cake. Chocolate lovers have a lot of options, including a dense brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and flanked by slices of roasted banana or a glass of creamy chocolate pudding paired with a trio of cinnamon-sugar churros. I don't remember that at any cafeteria.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton