Eat Here Right Now

This West Village Newbie Just Saved the Diner Scene

If you eat out at only one place this month, make it Hudson & Charles Dinette.

Photo by Sayaka Ueno

You can breathe easy, diner lovers: Hudson & Charles just revitalized the concept New Yorkers know and love.

The Hudson Street shop has modernized the art of butchery since opening its doors in 2013, sourcing grass-fed animals from nearby farms and utilizing every part of what it acquires. With the amount of ambitious cuts coming out of the micro-kitchen, it was only a matter of time before the company expanded beyond its minimal square footage. Fortunately, the bistro space next door went on the market last summer and Hudson & Charles Dinette was born in December. 

Hudson & Charles Dinette
Photo courtesy of Hudson & Charles Dinette via Yelp

With its modern approach to diner fare, H&C Dinette has the makings to become a West Village standard. 

Meaty mains are, of course, excellent.

You’d be more than happy with ordering the steak of the day, which can range from steakhouse specialties (dry-aged sirloin) to something a little more under the radar (a bachelor cut perfect for one). If you’re so inclined, though, consider challenging your palate with daring takes on carnivorous staples. Paper-thin carpaccio is perfect on its own, but the raw eye of round comes dressed to impress with charred watermelon radishes and pickled Calabrian chilis. H&C’s take on the classic chicken Parmesan trades the cutlet for a deep-fried sausage patty, saucy marinara for sweet tomato confit, and mozzarella for a milkier burrata. Eastern European borscht also transforms from its usual soup form into a sausage with its key ingredients (bright beet purée, ground pork, and caraway) stuffed into a casing. For the purists, traditional elements like braised cabbage and a dollop of crème fraîche remain on the plate. The fries are even tossed in beef fat! How can it get better than that? Well…

The signature burger has what it takes to become a new classic.

In between a thick sesame-seed bun is the H&C Classic, a griddled grass-fed patty topped with the standards you’ve come to know and love: molten American slices, iceberg lettuce, onions, and pickles. You might think you’re eating a Burger King Whopper if you have your eyes closed—and I say that in the most loving way. The fiery char marks add an extra jolt of flavor to your nostalgia-tinged bite, though the pickles’ brine, gooey cheese, and beefy juices casually dripping down your arms pack plenty of punch on their own. You’ll realize by the last bite that Hudson & Charles’s straightforward approach to burgers is a much welcome departure from today’s foodscape, where gimmicky toppings rule diners’ attention spans more often than not.

Photo by Sayaka Ueno

The veggies are good, too!

Hudson & Charles Dinette is unabashed when it comes to its love of meat, but you can (almost) have a healthy-ish dinner if you order correctly. Rarely do we come across a salad that excites, but the eatery serves two that do just that. Bitter endive and radicchio greens are tossed together with roasted celery root nibs and toasted hazelnuts to create a salad full of complexity and depth; and the typical Caesar is revamped into a hands-on version, with long strips of grilled romaine hugging Parmesan slivers, toasted breadcrumbs, and lemon confit. Simple sides also get an extra pop with a bit of charring (broccolini), a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds (brussels sprouts), and a little bit of waffling (a scallion and black sesame version sitting underneath Korean fried chicken).

You’ll want to come for the sky-high pies alone.

The first thing that will catch your eye inside Hudson & Charles Dinette won’t be the copper ceilings or the hedges hanging on the wall. Instead, it’ll be the long back-window case that peeks into the busy kitchen and holds the tantalizing pies waiting to be sliced and served. The night I went, there were two fresh varieties: a lemon curd pie topped with mountains of torched meringue and a peppermint-kissed chocolate mousse pie buried in fresh whipped cream and pretzel bits. Slices are cut very (very) generously, but don’t let the size intimidate you. While intense in flavor and cream, thankfully neither are overly sweet. Since you won’t end up in a sugar coma, I recommend ordering a second round to go.

Photo by Sayaka Ueno

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