Big Apple Bites: Hudson Clearwater in the West Village

Posted on January 20, 2012


Disclaimer: I’m not a native New Yorker, I’m actually a transplant.  If I live here any longer my roots are seriously going to start growing deep.  So, anticipating that I wont live here forever, I’ve decided to capture all the amazing experiences this Big Apple has to offer. So “Big Apple Bites” are short bites worth sharing on how New York City helps me learn, grow, appreciate and enjoy life.

It might take you a couple tries to find this speakeasy spot, but it’s well worth it.

Hudson Clearwater

There's no sign and the entrance is from the backdoor...speakeasy for sure.

It’s a hipster, trendy, hidden little restaurant that from the outside looks like you’re going into an intimate house party.  Beautiful wood main dining room with an open kitchen and a lowered second dining room with a bar.  The smells are great, and the scene is piping hot.  We were seated downstairs in a private room that seats up to 12.  Having our own space nestled down stairs was the perfect fit.  We had the ability to laugh and say speeches and toast and toast and toast. (We like to toast).  We work hard, but play hard too.  We are nonetheless, a fun bunch.


I work with some of the hardest working people I know and each are extremely good at what they do.  So what do we talk about if it’s not about work?  How one person is beyond terrible at Words with Friends.  He has 14 games going on at the same time, to see if he can beat one.  His theory is the law of averages will help him win at least one game.  Ironically this person has an amazing vocabulary also.  We also talk about how a 13 year old accidentally watched a movie scene that’s clearly inappropriate for kids because those sitting with him were not paying attention and closing his eyes for him.  He’s clearly going to grow up too fast.  Now the poor boy saw an explicit scene from Girl with the Dragon Tatoo that will make even adults close their eyes. We also make ridiculous comments using the word “Beet” since it was the first time anyone ever saw a beet cocktail.  We talk about how Yale and Harvard don’t get along. and how after the age of 50, you don’t want to celebrate birthdays… that last one was more of a somber touch.  As I reflect on all our conversations, although my family is in California… I can say that my working family is a quirky and as weird as my real family. Sigh… feels like home.

On the Menu for the Evening:

Appetizers we shared were Butter Clams, Gnocchi, Suteed Kale, Parlsey-Lemon Bouillon along with Duck Leg Confit, Jalapeno Cornbread, Cranberry-raisin sause, Frisse, Vinaigrette. We ordered more, but I can’t remember outside of the fact it was DELICIOUS!

For my main dish, I personally ordered the Atlantic Black Sea Bass, which was phenomenal.  I love the taste of sea creatures, so it was a no brainer for me when I saw the Bass as a choice.  It came with smashed rutabaga, brussels sprouts, apple-radish salad with almond pesto.  We ordered two of  the 5 sides on the menu.  One in particular I really enjoyed was the Potato-Onion Gratin.  We ended our dinner with Honey Crisp Apple Tarte Tatin, and the Dark Chocolate Cocoa Brownie.  I was stuffed.

My drink of choice (besides the bottles of Malbec we ordered), was the Calacas.  This drink was tasty, but I know most people would not have liked it.  It’s basically Jalapeno Tequila, Beet, Lime, Agave, and Chili-Himilayan Salt.  It looked like a Beet Juice.  It tasted like a beet juice too, but had a kick in it.  It had no Tequila taste and very easy to drink.  I enjoyed it, but my friend definitely did not.

Following the dinner, three of us continued for an after dinner cocktail at Employees Only on Hudson st.  It’s very cute, shnazzy (I know it’s not a real word) and packed.  We had a drink called ‘Amelia’ and stood near the fire-place.  We chatted for a few and finished up.

Final Thoughts

It was a good night.  I found two new spots and I will for sure be going back.  I really enjoyed the feeling of just being in the moment among great people, ambiance and food.  I feel eating is one of the most natural things one can do, and sharing that experience with others is exposing an intimate side of yourself.

I came into this office in a weird series of events; but grateful every day. Working with this team, I’ve learned a lot about opportunity and perspective.  Simply put, opportunity is in what you can create… and here we create new spaces physically.  Truthfully, I have learned we create new spaces mentally before anything.  Before we can build, it had to have been created in the mind, digitized on the computer, talked about over hundred hours of conference calls, and after millions of dollars invested, and countless official documents with the last formal John Hancock, the mental space can begin to materialize.  The phrase sounds simple; we create spaces.  And it is.  It just requires a lot of before work.

This epiphany has had me realize that you are a result of all the hard work you’ve put into your life thus far.  If you are not okay with the result or want more, then create a new space for yourself.  Visualize your life, digitize, have conversations with people who will get you from point A to B… and after meeting people and more people, and more talks… your result is that of a person on your way towards creating a new space for yourself; mentally first, and then blooming into the material.  This is my resolution for 2012, to create my own new space.