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Hudson’s Bar & Grill elegant, intimate experience

Food, service great at restaurant in Heathman Lodge

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Published: November 22, 2019, 6:00am
5 Photos
Pan Seared Scallops at Hudson's Bar and Grill. (Rick Browne for The Columbian)
Pan Seared Scallops at Hudson's Bar and Grill. (Rick Browne for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Ensconced in The Heathman Lodge, Hudson’s Bar & Grill features low lighting, rustic decor and a background pianist. It’s simply one of the most elegant and intimate local dining rooms to enjoy with someone special.

The menu is as sophisticated as any in Clark County. Some think that means pricey. While Hudson’s isn’t the least expensive fine dining around, it certainly delivers great value for the dollars spent.

Appetizers range from $4 for the Grilled Rustic Bread to $18 for a hearty Dungeness Crab Cocktail.

We started with Hudson’s Crab Cakes ($17) made of Dungeness crab with Oregon bay shrimp and drizzled with a lemon aioli.

Oops, the two cakes we were served were almost burned on the bottoms so we sent them back. The server was very helpful and asked if we wanted them replaced or to try another appetizer. We opted for the Gorgonzola Cheese Cake ($14).

Dining out guide: Hudson’s Bar & Grill

Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.

Where: 7805 N.E. Greenwood Drive, Vancouver.

Contact: 360-816-6100; hudsonsbarandgrill.com

Health score: Hudson’s received a score of 10 on Aug. 16. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Not only is this dish incredibly creamy, but it’s also loaded with flavor. A generous number of roasted garlic cloves, a tasty artichoke salad and four large triangles of grilled bread are served alongside the cheese. We didn’t leave even a single crumb on the plate. Enough said.

My dinner companion ordered the Pan Seared Scallops ($34), served nestled in roasted cauliflower, fingerling potatoes, pine nuts, golden raisins and capers. I stole a taste of scallop — something I’m obligated to do to complete this review (or that’s what I told her, anyway). I found the scallops to be perfectly tender, wonderfully fresh and the best I’ve had locally.

Being the carnivore I am, and often restricted (my lady says “advised”) against consuming too much red meat, I rebelled and lusted after the Grilled Rib Eye ($35). (There were veggies on the plate, though.)

The consummately grilled steak, a lovely medium-rare, was resting on a bevy of grilled Brussels sprouts, and a (almost too pretty to eat) scrumptious tart of pecorino cheese and mashed potatoes. The steak was a bit thinner than I’m used to, but much larger in circumference, so it balanced the lesser thickness with more area of luscious beef. It was mouthwatering to look at, and even more so once I bit into it.

Not in mint condition

One small sour note was the drink I had before dinner. I love mojitos, but I saw no mint in the version I received. Neither my companion nor I tasted any mint. A classic mojito is made by lightly crushing fresh mint in a glass with lime juice and sugar, then adding ice, a jigger of rum, filling the glass with soda, and garnishing with a mint leaf. My drink was not classic.

Hudson’s dessert menu includes chocolate mousse cake, creme brulee, chocolate brownie with ice cream, New York cheesecake, or ice cream/sorbet ($8 each). Despite being quite full, we shared the “custard style” Hudson’s Bread Pudding with the housemade caramel. Suggestion: Please don’t be stingy with the very thin caramel.

The ambiance was wonderful, the service top-drawer (including when we sent a dish back), the entrees delicious, the accompanying sides well-planned to enhance the proteins, the Gorgonzola cheesecake awesomely garlicky. The delightful background pianist added magic to the dinner.

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