First Impression: Hudson Hall

What is Hudson Hall: Located in the former Powerhouse Lounge space (364 Marin), Hudson Hall is a new Eastern European-style beer hall and smoke house from the team behind Jersey City’s Würstbar and Hoboken’s Pilsener Haus & Biergarten.

Interior: In a word — Hudson Hall is beautiful. Designer Jirka Kolar (The Bonney Read, Radegast Hall) and his team have created a masterpiece. Faux rusted metal, subway-style tiling, exposed brick, and vintage signage give the space a vibe unlike any other in Jersey City. The main bar has taps that were made and imported from Europe and the picnic table seating in the main room makes Hudson Hall great for small groups, large groups, and even dates. Walk through the tunnel-like corridor and suddenly you’re at the Deli — a gorgeous, room that Hudson Hall general manager Kevin Hunt jokingly calls the Da Vinci Code, because like a puzzle — the room had to be meticulously constructed tile-by-tile. The Deli serves as a lunch counter during the week and a quieter lounge on weekends.

The Menu: Five-year Dinosaur Bar-B-Que vet, chef Daniel Hoose, has created a spectacular menu (PDF) that consists of old world charcuterie like smoked meats, pickled and fermented vegetables, and a made-from-scratch pastrami sandwich that’s cured, rubbed, smoked, brined, and roasted in-house. Vegetarians and pescatarians fear not — there are plenty of veggie and seafood dishes from which to choose, including smoked salmon, latkes, soups, fermented veggies, and more. There’s also a kids menu if you decide to bring the small ones (which many parents did the Saturday night we ate there).

We Loved: Hudson Hall’s pastrami sandwich is phenomenal and worth the visit on its own. This isn’t your Carnegie/Katz-style pastrami, it’s succulent, juicy, and tender. The smoked salmon is another winner; the fish flakes brilliantly with a sweet aroma and lovely rounded smoked flavor. The Portobello fries are also a must — super crisp and excellent with any beer. For groups of 4 or more — the Basta is a must. It includes three meats of your choosing (1/2 pound each), three sides of your choosing, and a massive bowl of buttery, toasted bread.

Could Be Better: Step into Hudson Hall and you truly feel like you’re in a European beer hall. That is, until you see the giant HDTVs. It’s a minor complaint, but the NFL games kill the vibe. Also, while we love the curated beer menu — it’s a little too easy to miss star beers. Pairings, recommendations, or even flights would be great.

Go Now or Wait: Even though Hudson Hall was operating on a limited menu the night we went, many of the restaurant’s star items were still available. The vibe is cool, the staff attentive/welcoming, and the food is phenomenal. We recommend Hudson Hall 100%.

Spatchcock Chicken

Smoked Salmon

HH Veggies

French Fries

Buttered Bread

Hudson Hall | 364 Marin Boulevard | www.hudsonhalljc.com

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