June 1, 2014 | Short Order

 Eight Best Bites of Posh New Hudson Eats

by Ana Lopez and Maria Yagoda

          Located in the new mega-complex Brookfield Place, wedged on the edge of Battery Park City by the Hudson, Hudson Eats hopes to be a playground for foodies (and local Wall Street types) who don’t have the patience for sweaty and crowded outdoor feeding fields like Smorgasburg.

          The high-brow food court, featuring stalls from gastronome darlings like Mighty Quinn’s, Umami Burger, and Black Seed Bagels, was initially slated for a May 7 opening, then pushed to May 17. Now, as the buzz surrounding the spot reaches critical mass, Hudson Eats is set to debut, finally, on June 3.

          At a Hudson Eats preview event, we tasted bites from each stall and agreed that the fevered anticipation, in fact, was not exaggerated. Of course, there were disappointments. Ana, our resident Mexican, found Dos Toros’ guacamole bland and uninspired, while Maria, a fresh produce fanatic, scoffed at Dig Inn’s overdressed salads. Most dishes, however, delighted. Here are our eight favorite bites.

1. Slow Smoked Brisket Slider at Mighty Quinn’s

Mighty Quinn’s brisket slider had a vibrant kick that left us wanting more

           The Smorgasburg BBQ all-star Mighty Quinn’s, which now has locations in New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, delivers a mean Texas-style brisket. The beef -- smoky, sweet, moist, and peppery -- achieves divine-status when topped with tangy pickled jalapenos and stuffed into a brioche bun. (If you don’t end up with sauce on your face, you’re doing it wrong.) --MY

2. Mushroom Pizza at Skinny Pizza

          Mushroom pizza typically leaves me indifferent. What really pulled this creamy slice of shiitake, porcini and cremini mushrooms together with unusual zing were the hearty nuggets of roasted garlic hidden beneath a layer of mozzarella cheese. My shock made me giddy for more, encouraging Maria to ask for a taste, and that forced me to share. --AL

3. Hand Rolls at Blue Ribbon Sushi

Blue Ribbon hand rolls; ideal for walking, talking and indulging.

           Sushi adept Toshi Ueki crafts hand rolls that are as tasty as they are effortless to devour in their convenient hand-held glory -- a danger to the lunch budget when you’re considering grabbing a fourth, maybe fifth, roll. The ideal handful of food, each square of crispy nori wraps around subtly flavored sushi rice and supremely fresh fish -- try the spicy crab or sake ikura, raw salmon topped with plump little rounds of salmon roe.  -- MY

4. Bluefish Bagel Chips at Black Seed Bagel

Bagel chips from Black Seed creatively displayed and ripe for the picking.

           At the Insatiable Critic’s recommendation, we were eager for our first taste of Black Seed bagels. The bluefish spread also made its mark at this popular stop. Lovingly smeared on crunchy bagel chips, the classic spread seemed bland at first, then slowly made itself known as I crunched away excitedly in surprise. I wanted to take a tub of it home. I was only disappointed their fresh bagels were not being offered. --AL  

5. Truffled Beet Salad at Umami Burger

          Salads at burger joints can be uninspired and embarrassing to order (one of Umami’s salads is cheekily called “Boring Salad.”) The truffled beet salad, however, holds its own on a menu of pretty exceptional burgers. Thinly-cubed, roasted beets are set atop truffled ricotta and sprinkled with smoky almonds, baby arugula, and truffle dressing. The salad, a wild amalgamation of contrasting textures and flavors, has its own umami harmony (and doesn’t rely on truffles to carry the dish). --MY

6. Blueberry Jam Crostini at Little Muenster

Luscious blueberry jam mingled delicately with the mascarpone on Little Muenster’s crostini.
Luscious blueberry jam mingled delicately with the mascarpone on Little Muenster’s crostini.

           Adam Schneider and Vanessa Palazio’s upscale grilled cheese eatery won us over with its Maine Wild Blueberry Crostini. The sticky sweet dollop of jam on a puffed crisp is perfectly balanced with the velvety swirl of mascarpone-ricotta on top. I found myself craving a second bite. Honorable mention must be given to the thick tomato soup shooter, which would compliment any elaborate grilled cheese Little Muenster has to offer. --AL

7. Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake at Sprinkles

Sprinkles’ vibrant cupcakes teased us into submission.

           I know, I know, cupcakes are so 2006. But LA-bred cupcake house Sprinkles has secured a cult-like following for a reason; their cupcakes are immaculate. Play it safe with the lush, classic red velvet, or indulge in your inner seven-year old with the dark chocolate marshmallow cupcake, which is essentially a refined Ho Ho. Intensly chocolate cake is injected with marshmallow cream and topped with chocolate ganache. --MY

8. Nitro Iced Coffee and Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies at Olive’s

          Sauntering over to Olive’s, we spotted tall glasses filled with a dark brew and assumed they were offering a stout beer alongside cookies. It struck us as an odd combination, so we asked.  It was “Cold Brew Nitro Iced Coffee,” we were informed. A condensed brew of coffee is chilled and served from a beer tap, giving it a frothy layer at the top. Not too bitter, wonderfully refreshing. I forced myself to stop sipping for fear of a sleepless night. Salted chocolate chunk cookies were the ideal combination of crisp and chewy that chocolate chip cookies require. I snuck away with two extra cookies for home.  --AL

Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place. 200 Vesey Street, between West Street & North End Avenue. Opening June 3rd, 2014.

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