Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (2024)

There was a time, several years ago, when one could drive over the bridge/ramp that led from Weehawken, NJ to the Lincoln Tunnel while staring at the glamorous Manhattan skyline (if you know, you know). Now, of course, it’s crowded with buildings whose intent is to capitalize on that exact skyline and rachet up the price of anything sold there. There are fancy apartment buildings. There is a Whole Foods with a particularly grumpy-looking coffee bean acting as its internal café mascot. And there are several fairly upscale restaurants. Blu on The Hudson is one of them. After a lot of swearing and getting lost, my photographer/eating companion and I find parking and make our way inside. Pro-tip: The restaurant offers valet parking, which is cheaper than the parking found in the adjacent garage. If you’re celebrating a special event like an anniversary at the restaurant, you can enhance the experience further by considering the use of a luxury transportation service. Arriving in style will add an extra touch of sophistication to your memorable occasion.

The Beverages at Blu on The Hudson

Our waiter, David, is friendly, funny, and knowledgeable. He provides several recommendations and has me considering a massive tower of smoked salmon and bagels despite all common sense telling me it is a terrible idea. (I resist.) We order a round of drinks.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (2)

My dining companion’s old-fashioned is startlingly good. He comments with much enthusiasm on its “phenomenal blend of smoky and sweet, balanced just right, with strong sweetness upfront but very clean and in no way overwhelming.” I remember an old fashioned I had that tasted like the butt of a really old car tire. This, however, is not that. It’s superbly smooth.

Mine, called Oil on The Skin, is a mix of aperol, strawberry, grapefruit, and prosecco. It is delicious, and dangerously so. The strawberry is faint, with the pleasantly bitter notes of aperol and grapefruit shining through. It is also extremely fresh. If the old-fashioned is a dazzling James Dean leaning against a doorframe, then my co*cktail is Taylor Swift at the MetLife Stadium with a full red lip and a glittering minidress. Very fun, very summery, and perfect for brunch.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (3)

Starters

We ordered two sets of nori “tacos,” one with hamachi and avocado, and one with bluefin tuna and spicy aioli. The former is somewhat underwhelming, with the delicate hamachi being overshadowed by an aggressively sweet sauce that tastes more like yuzu and sugar than avocado.

The latter is better, perhaps because the bluefin has a stronger flavor and texture and stands up well alongside the equally flavorful sauce. I would have liked to see the fish quality highlighted more here. My companion, however, has no such qualms, and will later deem the bluefin tuna to be his favorite bite of the meal.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (4)

The Vegan Apricot Sticky Bun and The Bacon

Next arrives a vegan apricot sticky bun and The Bacon. Fortuitously paired, or perhaps because David is secretly a genius, both are fairly good alone. The sticky bun is a little too dry and a little too sweet for my liking, with the dried apricots on top adding texture but only more sweetness. The glaze is smooth but could benefit from an added layer of spice for nuance.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (5)

The Bacon is a heavy hitter, smoky and fatty, with a generous molasses glaze of its own. When combined, the two dishes are more harmonious. The char from the bacon adds a welcome bitter touch to balance the sweetness of the bun. The airy crumb from the sticky bun complements the meaty, savory mouthfeel of the bacon. Not bad, David. Not bad at all.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (6)

Mains

I’m calling these the main dishes but it is brunch, so most of them could easily fall between entrees and appetizers.

The Smoked Salmon

Our smoked salmon scrambled eggs arrive first, open-faced on a croissant. It smells so unbelievably good, I glare at my poor companion, who has the wherewithal to snap a photo before allowing me to dig in. Immediately, it’s my favorite dish so far. The croissant is flaky and is for sure a croissant au beurre (the rest of the world’s croissants should be fed to the birds).

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (7)

The chives and dill prevent the deliciously rich, soft scrambled eggs from becoming overly weighty on the tongue. And the smoked salmon…it is light, tender, and so soft, I suspect it’s smoked in-house. David confirms this. He also reveals that Balthazar provides their croissants, adding brownie points. It is perfectly balanced (as all things should be).

The Lobster Roll

David recommends the lobster roll, which is served with waffle fries and the tiniest cross sections of grape tomatoes I’ve ever seen. The lobster is good, well-prepared, and sweet, and the bread is excellent – deeply toasted and buttery. My companion, however, notes how dry it feels. There is no sauce, save for the spicy ketchup to accompany the fries.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (8)

Although the elements are tasty, after a few bites one cannot help but notice the growing desire for something, either a lemon butter or herbed mayonnaise, to enjoy with the rest of the sandwich. Thankfully, the fries are really good. Deeply crispy, with plenty of surface area for extra crunch and extra coverage for the ketchup.

The Cacio e Pepe

The cacio e pepe is another dish that, along with the smoked salmon scrambled eggs, leaves me spellbound. Perhaps it is the house-made mafaldine, sliced into perfectly imperfect ribbons with a weightiness and chew that is eternally satiating and comforting. Perhaps it is the magnificently poached egg, with nary a drop of yolk overcooked, resting its gently coddled head on a bed of generously shaved black truffle.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (9)

Whatever it is, the egg disappears like the world’s sexiest magic trick, folded into the beautiful emulsion of starchy pasta water and aged pecorino Romano. The truffles, too, flake effortlessly into the sauce and hide between crackles of freshly ground black pepper. It is intense and ethereal and unforgettable.

Dessert

The apricot sticky bun (too sweet) combined with a professional amount of menu perusal prior to even stepping foot in the restaurant (never too obsessive) leaves me approaching the dessert menu with caution. I generally prefer my desserts to be on the less sweet side, with either earthy, fruity, or savory elements to complement the main component. The only dessert here that fits the bill is the panna cotta.

“Do you think they’ll let me order the whipped potatoes for dessert?” This question seems reasonable to me, and I’ve been pondering it for several moments. My dining companion, however, stares at me like I’ve grown a second head.

“That’s the most degenerate thing I’ve ever heard.”

The Panna Cotta

Well, now I have to do it. I have him order the panna cotta. Then I look at David with my least frowny face and ask for the potatoes. He says yes, and then without missing a beat, asks if I want whipped cream on top. I laugh and wonder what will happen if I say yes. I don’t though, because I’m not that much of a degenerate.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (10)

My dessert beverage, meanwhile, is called Not A Guinness and involves some complicated mixture of black sesame-smoked vodka, Borghetti espresso liqueur, and a dark chocolate ganache rim. It is very rich, coffee infused, and pleasantly sweet. The black sesame adds an elevated nutty flavor that is reminiscent of hazelnut, and the overall profile is not too acidic, not too bitter, and surprisingly juicy.

The panna cotta arrives first. It’s very pretty, with the panna cotta itself jiggling to nearly inappropriate levels, dotted with flecks of vanilla bean. It’s irresistibly creamy and perfectly set, yet light enough to be refreshing. The strawberry rhubarb compote has a lovely texture and is complemented by herbal hints of basil and lemon. There is a flake of edible gold on top, which adds a distinctive, “I’m eating brunch by the Hudson River,” ambiance to the dish.

The whipped Potatoes

The whipped potatoes have no edible gold, and thankfully no whipped cream either. It arrives in a classic French copper mini saucepan, garnished with crispy parmesan and chives. The aroma alone leaves no doubt in my mind that this was an excellent decision. One bite in, and I immediately realize that even though potatoes are not usually classified under the realm of dessert, if they were, these would be them.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (11)

They’re essentially more butter than potato, and are so sinfully smooth that I expect some heavy machinery went into their blenderization. The crispy parmesan adds a fun pop of texture; the chives add freshness. I allow my companion a few spoonfuls before shamelessly demolishing the rest. (“It’s so smooth you could drink this,” he concedes, then follows with this scathing note, “The potatoes would disagree if they could, but Katherine believes this is a dessert.”)

Final Thoughts

It’s brunch. It’s supposed to be fun, and exciting, and maybe a little more expensive than normal. Blu on The Hudson lives up to this expectation. The ambiance is open and airy, the service is excellent, and the beverages are phenomenal. Don’t sleep on the savory dishes. And if you’re craving dessert…might I recommend the whipped potatoes?

Three Best Bites

3. It’s a tie between my Oil on The Skin co*cktail and those whipped potatoes. Together, they make the perfect brunch.

2. The smoked salmon scrambled eggs, it was so good, I can barely believe this is in second place.

  1. The mafaldine cacio e pepe. I think it was that poached egg cooked to perfection that sealed the deal for me.

Bathroom Corner

It is a fancy bathroom; each stall is completely enclosed. There is fancy soap and strangely fancy disposable paper towels. It is dark and moody and more stylish than I could ever hope to be.

You can find more reviews of Blu on The Hudson here on Yelp.

Want to read more of our latest reviews? check out our review of Osteria Accademia.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (12)

Katherine Chin

Katherine Chin was raised in upstate New York and grew up with the mindset that good food can, and does, exist anywhere. Now living and working around Manhattan, she spends most of her breakfasts pondering what she’ll eat for dinner. She advocates for food that tastes good, and believes that sharing is caring – the best food is often eaten together. You can find her either walking or eating anywhere in Manhattan, when she’s not planning her next food-centric adventure.

Our Visit to Blu on The Hudson – The Gilded Weehawken Experience (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gregorio Kreiger

Last Updated:

Views: 5826

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gregorio Kreiger

Birthday: 1994-12-18

Address: 89212 Tracey Ramp, Sunside, MT 08453-0951

Phone: +9014805370218

Job: Customer Designer

Hobby: Mountain biking, Orienteering, Hiking, Sewing, Backpacking, Mushroom hunting, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Gregorio Kreiger, I am a tender, brainy, enthusiastic, combative, agreeable, gentle, gentle person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.