After a day of wandering through the Botanical Gardens, we visited Hudson Garden Grill for our anniversary dinner. John planned the whole thing. The visit to the gardens, plus this lovely dinner… all him! This is the only real sit down restaurant in the NY Botanical Gardens. It’s really more of a lunch spot, but you can stop by for an early dinner like we did. It’s a bit of a trek to get here, so it’s unlikely that they’ll have many customers other than garden visitors.
First things first, Hudson Garden Grill is stunning! The space contrasts reclaimed wood from trees that fell in the gardens during Hurricane Sandy with modern, industrial metal accents. Large windows and picturesque artwork bring nature into the restaurant. It feels intimate and elegant, while maintaining a relaxed, outdoorsy vibe.
The dinner menu is smaller than the lunch menu, but they also had a special Frida Kahlo $35 three course prix fixe menu featuring Mexican dishes inspired by Frida’s own recipes. I decided to go with the Frida Kahlo menu, while John ordered a la carte. The Cucumber Cooler gin cocktail ($12) was just what I needed to cool off and unwind after a long day.
We both started with the Black Bean Soup ($9). I don’t think of black bean soup as a pretty dish, but they did a good job with this one. Flavorful black bean soup with a subtle hint of hint. We requested that they not include the crispy pig’s ears as a topping… I hope no porky ears accidentally slipped into the soup in the kitchen. Argh.
A few years ago, I never would have expected John to voluntarily order a salad for a dinner, but lo and behold, he ordered the Paffenroth Garden Greens ($16). A beautiful combination of butter lettuce, orange, avocado, and shallots topped with vinaigrette. He also got a side of fries ($5), which didn’t surprise me at all, hahah.
My entree was the Huevos Rancheros from the Frida Kahlo menu. This was a modern take on the classic, and I’ve never had huevos rancheros quite like this before. Poached eggs, refried black beans, mini fried tortillas, two salsas, and a creamy avocado tempura. Nicely presented, very tasty even though cooked avocado is a bit odd. I kept having to remind myself to slow down.
For dessert, we shared the Teotiguacan Mexican Churros, which were served with a cajeta caramel sauce and whipped cream for dipping. What a delightful treat to share! I wish they were a little warm though. Crunchy and sugary on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. They melt in your mouth, and even though you know they’re fried, they didn’t feel greasy.