Toronto’s Hudson Kitchen Patio Serves Up Barbecue Bliss

Filipino Fried Chicken on Brioche at Hudson Kitchen in Toronto
Filipino Fried Chicken on Brioche at Hudson Kitchen
Hudson Kitchen on Dundas Street West recently held a media night on June 4, 2014 to open their summer patio. I was greeted by Cheryl and Erin at the side gate of the patio on a warm Toronto evening with the smell of barbecue lingering in the distance, a sure sign the chef was grilling up some tasty morsels for us all to enjoy.
I  was ushered to the bar where head bartender Jay Meyers was concocting some new summer imbibables.
Jay, the Head Bartender prepares drinks at Hudson Kitchen
Jay Meyers, the Head Bartender, prepares drinks at Hudson Kitchen
I tested the “Rhu the Day”, a combination of gin, rhubarb liqueur (homemade), tarragon, luxardo maraschino and lime. This was the best drink of the bunch.
Next came the tantalizing appetizers, prepared by Chef Robbie, including Devilled Eggs and Chicken Cracklin with hot sauce. These were tasty with a surprise crunchiness.
Devilled Eggs and Chicken Cracklin at Hudson Kitchen
Devilled Eggs and Chicken Cracklin at Hudson Kitchen

The Beef Short Rib Lettuce Wrap with Kimchi, Kewpie mayo and wild rice was mmmm, just awesome.

The Spring Vegetable Tostada, with goat cheese and black beans, was fresh and simply delicious!

The Filipino Fried Chicken with Brioche, Adobo mayo and Iceberg lettuce was superb. I loved the three or four of these that I inhaled!

Filipino Fried Chicken on brioche with Adobo mayo at Hudson Kitchen
Filipino Fried Chicken on brioche with Adobo mayo at Hudson Kitchen



Other appetizers included:

  • Grilled Cauliflower with brown butter, almond, raisin, and caper, which were interesting in a good way;
  • Squid Croquette, with lemon and Wild Fennel, which was not to my liking;
  • Piquillo Pepper, Tuna Conserva, with Sherry Vinaigrette, which had a good aftertaste, but I was not enjoying the mouthfeel; and
  • Mackerel Escabeche with Shallot, which left too much of a fishy aftertaste for me.

The Spring Vegetable Tostada was my favourite with the Beef Short Rib Lettuce Wrap coming a very close second.

Hudson Kitchen set up a self-serve bar with Negroni called “That’s our Word” and another drink called the “Plants vs. Zombies,” which featured a sprig of dill to accompany it. I didn’t get a chance to try the Plants vs. Zombies, but I partook of the Negroni, which was a witch’s cauldron of boozy goodness. I had to keep putting more and more ice in mine to keep me from falling down. The bartender, Jay Meyer, said that everyone was making the drinks wrong – as is to be expected from a man who takes pride in his craft. Several patrons commented on Jay’s mixology prowess and had enjoyed many a drink under his careful tumbling at other venues.

The Hudson Kitchen location is easy to get to with the streetcar stop right out front. The residential area is both hip and swank, a nice mix of the enlightened Annex and foodie College Street West. The patrons are mostly locals looking for a pleasant patio to sit back and relax on. The patio is situated at the corner of Dundas Street West and Palmerston Avenue. There is some residential street parking, and parking on Dundas Street West after 6 p.m.

I liked that they kept the faded Coca-Cola sign on the side of the brick wall facing the patio. The pretty blue umbrellas were down since our soiree didn’t require sunscreen, but nice to know they were there for a sunny day. The staff were both friendly and knowledgeable. I was happily surprised how much food they brought out for guests. I noticed that many of the media party guests continued their gastronomic adventure inside and ordered more food and drinks off the menu after the tasting was over, which is always a good sign. Hudson Kitchen is a patio I definitely hope to return to this summer.

Hudson Kitchen, 800 Dundas Street West, 416-644-8839

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