July 2008 Issue
July's Featured Restaurant
With airfares climbing, traveling to London or Paris for a romantic getaway may not be in your immediate future. Instead, you can head to Downtown 140: A Restaurant & Wine Bar in Hudson and you’ll feel like you’ve dashed off to foreign country for the evening.
The restaurant is small, and the low ceilings, dim lighting, brick walls and plush booths enhance the cozy ambiance. This eclectic eatery was the perfect setting for celebrating my best friend’s new job and big move to New York City.
The menu here offers a variety of portion sizes. “Smallest plates” are tapas-style appetizers that come by the piece, such as the gulf shrimp cocktail with lemon and celery hearts, served with the restaurant’s special cocktail sauce for dipping, or the Kobe beef satay with pickled shitake and peanut dipping sauce. Moving to “small plates,” the menu describes items that are portioned and priced more like a typical appetizer. Be sure to try the gruyere cheese fondue with red wine pears, apples, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and walnut bread.
The entree list is described as “not so small” plates and includes ahi tuna steak with a spice crust prepared medium rare (suggested by the chef), complemented by shrimp spring rolls stuffed with baby bok choy and soy ginger sauce, with the an excellent wasabi. Flaky wild salmon is served with poached blue prawn, potato ravioli and spinach, drizzled with creamy lobster broth. Everything on the menu sounded and looked delicious (OK, I admit I glanced around the room to see what other people were ordering).
For dessert, I decided the triple chocolate mousse with blood orange dipping sauce garnished with strawberries, grapefruit and mint leaves sounded too heavenly to pass up — and I was right. The dark, milk and white chocolate was layered perfectly; you could taste each one as it melted in your mouth. After I told our waitress that this dinner was to celebrate my friend’s new job, she brought her dessert — a slightly crunchy, hazelnut toffee cake — with a lit candle and “congratulations” written in chocolate syrup on the plate.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.