Hudson's on the Bend

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Hudson's on the Bend

3509 RR 620 N., 266-1369

Sun-Thu, 6-9pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30-10pm

Summertime seems to be a busy season for the folks down at Hudson's. During a recent midweek visit, the patio was dominated by a tent, tables covered with margarita glasses, and more than a hundred people awaiting a Hill Country lobster bake. Chef Jeff Blank milled about overseeing the decidedly upscale cookout.

The kitchen at Hudson's has also gone through some significant changes with the departure of longtime executive chef Jay Moore. After 10 years working with chef/owner Blank, Moore departed the lake-area institution for the coastal city of Rockport. Replacing Moore, in position if not spirit, is Ron Brannon -- formerly of Central Market and recently enticed back to town from Vail, Colo.

The two chefs worked together for the month preceding Moore's departure on June 1, and the menu is starting to reflect a new hand at the helm. Several new entries hit Hudson's starter and entrée menus, including an amphibious appetizer of spicy snapping turtle étouffée with four feather-light fried frog legs. New main-plate offerings include an aged ribeye seasoned with black peppercorns and bleu cheese sauce.

Meanwhile, seasoned chef Blank and the relative new kid Brannon will continue to teach summer classes in support of Hudson's 1999 cookbook Cooking Fearlessly (Fearless Press, $32.95). Even in the face of major personnel changes, summer (and the hungry crowds from the lake) wait for no one.

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