Several aspects of The Hudson Room compete for the spotlight. The food comes first for us (of course!), but then there’s the modern décor that pops with red, white and black. (You can’t help but gaze at the red piano up front and center onstage.) And if you can drag those eyes from the sushi bar on the right to the liquor bar on the left, you’ll notice the Art Deco mosaic tile flanked by red barstools, where you can sit and sip some creative cocktails.
Opened in August next to the historic Paramount Hudson Valley theater in Peekskill, The Hudson Room is a chef-driven restaurant with a globally inspired, locally farmed menu.
The executive chef? It’s Louis Lanza, who has run more than a dozen restaurants in about twice as many years in Manhattan. Lanza’s longest running restaurant is Josie’s on Amsterdam Avenue, serving organic, healthy New American cuisine since 1994. He also has a Latin-Asian restaurant called Citrus.”The Hudson Room combines my favorite things over the last 23 years, from Italian to Asian to Latin,” Lanza says, “and it tastes good. That’s what it comes down to.”
“The Hudson Room combines my favorite things over the last 23 years, from Italian to Asian to Latin,” Lanza says, “and it tastes good. That’s what it comes down to.”
This new Peekskill restaurant is closer to Lanza’s food sources, especially the farm he runs with his wife, Joni, in Garrison. The menu is also health-conscious, with organic and gluten-free items. “I’m a health freak,” Lanza says.
There’s a Continental Organics Farm-raised local tilapia with an oven-dried garlic-herb crust and a red pepper-tahini and basil coulis. Or for meat lovers, the kitchen makes a grilled, sliced Bavette steak using an unusual under-shoulder cut of Brandt Natural Beef, a purveyor used by many of the top Manhattan restaurants.
The Farm Salad’s frisee and romaine leaves are topped with a sunnyside egg from his farm, and the Downtown Chicken Milanese Salad incorporates his farm’s goat feta.
A plate of Sriracha Seared Gulf Shrimp, wild caught Gulf whites, guacamole, baked flour tortilla crisps at The Hudson Room in Peekskill. (Photo: Matthew Brown/The Journal News )
When it’s not local, it’s carefully sourced. The Mesquite Smoked Pork Nachos use American Homestead Natural pulled pork. The wild-caught whites in the Sriracha Seared Gulf Shrimp appetizer come from his buddy down in New Orleans and are soaked for 24 hours in Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, gluten-free soy sauce and fresh lime juice, landing on baked tortilla crisps smeared with guacamole and topped with a mango salsa.
Besides the dining room’s tables and semicircle booths, there’s a six-seat sushi bar led by Kevin Wong, who’s worked for Lanza for 12 years at Citrus. Wong and his sushi staff make classic rolls, plus specialties such as the Hudson Roll, which has Gulf lump crab, masago, cucumber and avocado.
At the beverage bar, the $20 Long Island Iced Tea also clamors for attention. The drink is powerful: It has 150-proof Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka; elderberry gin; 100-proof small-batch, organic Dulce Vida Platinum Tequila; Bacardi Rum; and 80-proof Patron Citronge. Whew.
“We use egg whites, fresh lemon and lime juice and it’s got this nice mauve color to it,” says partner Daniel Steinberger. He laughs. “Warning: only one per customer.” Steinberger is one of the four people, including Lanza, who run The Hudson Hospitality Group, which owns the restaurant and plans to open four more in the Peekskill area, including a taco and tequila bar.
The spotlight here literally shines onstage for live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights, accompanied by a tomato-red baby grand piano. John Ford of the neighboring Ford Piano business handcrafted that shining instrument.
Like the food, the music is locally sourced as well as globally inspired. Rising local country-pop singer Jessica Lynn and her Over the Top band often perform here. And the owners have plans for a Latin and Caribbean music night on Thursdays, possibly starting in January.
If you go …
The Hudson Room, 23 South Division St., Peekskill. 914-788-3663
Hours: 5 p.m.- midnight Monday-Wednesday, till 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Great for: Big Groups, Date Night, Solo Dining, Live Music, Watching the Game, Excellent Desserts, Seasonal Menu, Craft Beer, Cocktails, Dancing, Dining at the Bar, Entertainment, Girls’ Night Out, Kid Friendly, Late Night Eats, Meeting for a Drink, Going Out on Mondays, People Watching, Romantic, Dinner with Grandparents, Singles Scene, Small Plates, Special Occasion Dining, Vegetarians, Wine List