December 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm , by Serina Patrick
Maybe it’s a sign of our fear of commitment. Temporary boutiques are popping up everywhere, food trucks roam our streets setting up shop in parking lots, and now there’s a pop up restaurant at Atlantic Station….but only through the end of the year.
After an ill-fated Yelp party located in the vacant former Fox Sports Bar space, BB and I ended up at this foodie find operated by Billy and Jenn Streck of Cypress Street Pint & Plate. Staffed by a hodge podge of industry pros including chef Bart Hibbs who’s worked with such stars as Iron Chef Michael Symon, Hudson North feels as polished as any restaurant in town.
Decor is simple, puncuated by candles in mason jars strung across the intimate dining room abandoned by The Grape. The addition of Christmas trees adds to the Wintery festivity. We chose seats at the bar, always enjoying the entertaining banter of a witty bartender….perfect since this one was a stand-up comedian on holiday. With champagne on my brain, I chose the cocktail made with it, hibiscus liqueur and bitters. Sparkly and subtly sweet.
Although we snacked on a couple of things at the party, BB was ravenous, starting with the pickled plate, an assortment of things like country ham, ricotta, mixed olives, and pickled cantaloupe balls. I hate cantaloupe and actually have an allergic reaction to it as well, but was still tempted to try it pickled. Mistake for me, but BB devoured ‘em. I stuck to the meat, cheese, and olives with toasted sourdough.
Turns out, chef Hibbs had just left, but owner Billy arrived and made up for his absence by sharing his off-menu Brussels sprouts and filling us in on his pop up concept. Sure, I’ll have another cocktail!
We moved on to a couple of shared plates, the shrimp dish at his suggestion, braised chicken tacos at mine. His was better, a thick ragu of cannellini beans and lamb sausage providing a platform for the succulent shrimp. Sections of orange added an acid zing while the mint that usually decorates the top was put on the side to spare me and my distaste for it.
The pair of tacos were overstuffed corn tortillas that became unfortunately soggy due to the ancho chile sauce on the braised chicken. But a crisp root vegetable slaw gave the dish a pleasant crunch and saved the day. Although my choice was twice the quantity of food, it was about half the price of the shrimp dish.
Like a one-night stand, Hudson North will be a distant memory in a few short weeks. Difference is, we’ll actually miss this one.
264 19th Street NW 404-747-2297
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