Hudson’s Hill Country: NOW OPEN
When Chef Jeff Blank opened the original Hudson’s on the Bend restaurant (in this same location) way back in 1984, he wanted to create an intimate space that offered fine fair to Austinites in a laid back Hill Country setting. He succeeded. HOTB’s reputation quickly grew and people often chose it as a destination dining place or for locals to frequent, myself included in the latter. If was very sad to learn that, due to health issues, Chef Blank decided to sell the restaurant after over three decades of success in 2016. Following approximately eight months of major renovations, the second owners opened HOTB v2.0…for about 3 months and closed abruptly the day after Valentine’s 2017.
Now owned and operated by a third group (husband and wife team Dilum and Surangi Chandrasoma), things might look a lot different; however, the original Hill Country hospitality and an exotic, innovative menu are back. The new owners and Executive Chef John Sturdivant (formerly of Z’Tejas) of renamed Hudson’s Hill Country are embracing and honoring Chef Blank’s & HOTB’s traditions, as well as adding their own personalized touches and modern twists. The bar is set high and they are meeting it!
They decided to keep the renovated space as is and it is admittedly stunning. Walking past the expansive vegetable and herb garden personally evokes fond memories and reassures me that Hudson’s Hill Country is taking the farm-to-table approach and seasonality of only the best ingredients as seriously as its founder. Not to be mistaken. While Hudson’s Hill Country does honor the locales history, they are on the road to making a reputation of their own. There is now a spacious bar area with lots of natural lighting, still intimate, white linen topped tables inside, a large private dining room, and expanded al fresco options. [They will be remodeling the existing patio and creating more seating including a wall bar bench type; completion expected by the end of summer 2018]
Their menu will change as frequently as the seasons do (with some standard remaining staples). All of the items I have had so far (my plan is of course to make my way through all of the offerings eventually, ha) were absolutely delightful. They have a fine list assortment of signature cocktails (recommend the “Bashful Bluebonnet”), an impressive wine list (be sure to check out the wine room while you are there), and a small selection of beers including three local craft options at time of press.
Their menu is aptly described as “Tradition Redefined.” Several wild and exotic meats (antelope, wild boar, rabbit…) that HOTB was well-known for are still available at Hudson’s Hill Country. They have added contemporary twists and they’re inventing exciting new delectable dishes (recommend the Cast Iron and Rabbit Dumplings!), as well as including some lighter fare in the mix (recommend the Wasabi Caviar Tuna Poke!). There are also soup and salad options, and mouthwatering desserts. Here are a few of the amazing dishes I have tried so far:
3509 Ranch Road 620 N
Austin, TX 78734
HOURS: Mon-Sat 4:30-10pm; Sun 4:30-9pm. Reservations available via phone or OpenTable on the restaurant’s website.
HAPPY HOUR: Mon-Fri 4:30-7pm with discounted cocktails, wine, and beer and select rotating menu starters; available in bar area and patio only.
SUNDAY BRUNCH: a la carte brunch from 10:30am-2pm.
Parking: free partial gravel and paved lot.