Tucked discreetly in the back of the antique-and-vintage furniture emporium, Hudson Supermarket, is Chris Hebert's delectable HS Café -- serving up mouth-watering Mexican in portions large enough to sustain a visitor all the way up Warren Street. Already a neighborhood favorite, HS Café has been gathering a regular following of nearby seasonal visitors as well as the lucky weekender who (accidentally while looking for a grocery store item) stumbles through the carnival of antiques, locates the quirky grouping of tables and consumes with high appreciation the excellent food and welcoming charm of the Café.
TRAVEL & LEISURE, Oct. 2010 -- "In the back of the Hudson Supermarket, a 7,000-square-foot antiques and vintage accessories emporium, interior designer Chris Hebert, who once ran the furniture shop Toad Hall at New York City’s ABC Carpet & Home, has opened a Mexican-cuisine counter simply called Café at Hudson Supermarket. “Oh, I went to Mexico, learned to cook,” the pleasantly burly and jovial chef tells me. The whole designer-to-cook transformation would be ripe for satire if his mentor weren’t Diana Kennedy, the goddess of Mexican cuisine. I find myself meditating on a complex roasted-poblano pork soup in the back of what began life as a 1950’s supermarket but is now an antiques store offering “unique shopping for the urban nomad.” All in all, just another Hudson afternoon." Click here for Travel & Leisure article.
RURAL INTELLIGENCE, by Marilyn Bethany, June 2010 -- Customers to [HS Café], a lunch place tucked in the back of a lifestyle store, can’t believe their good fortune. “All this for ten bucks?,” marvels a shop owner from down the block as he whisks his steaming lunch back to his store. Exactly; for a sawbuck, no one has a right to expect such finesse: An arugula salad with a peppery citrus dressing and a garnish of toasted pecans and coarsely chopped, locally-grown apples and radishes; pork marinated in an ancho chili sauce then slow cooked with banana and avocado leaves; fish for tacos that first has been sautéed with chili d’arbol and garlic, then dressed in a lime juice, lemongrass, and serrano chili vinaigrette. Owner Chris Hebert studied Mexican cookery with the redoubtable Diana Kennedy, who did for authentic Mexican food what Julia Child did for authentic French, and it shows in his work.
REGISTER STAR, by Andrew Amelinckx, April 2010 --
“I want to introduce people to real Mexican cooking,” said Chris Hebert, chef and owner of the Café at Hudson Supermarket.
Hebert’s new restaurant is located in the back of the 7,000 square foot Hudson Supermarket, an antique and vintage furnishings market featuring the items of 12 dealers and located at 310 Warren St. in Hudson.
The space is owned by Able Sun, Hebert’s partner in the business.
According to Hebert, the Café features “high-end” Mexican dishes with his own interpretation. He believes that many people haven’t really experienced Mexican cuisine,
“A lot of Americans think of Mexican as tacos and burritos,” he said.
Hebert considers Mexican to be “one of the great (World) cuisines,” on par with both Thai and French food.
He said he loves it for its freshness as well as its versatility — from simple dishes to those with multi-layered, complex flavors.
“There’s a whole world of Mexican food,” he said.
While this is his first restaurant, Hebert said he has always had an affection for Mexican food and took cooking classes with Diana Kennedy 10 years ago in Mexico.
Kennedy is a renowned chef, author and authority on Mexican cooking.
Since that experience, he said, his repertoire has continued to grow.
“Over time I’ve pulled together these dishes,” he said. “It’s time to put it to good use.”
Hebert said he was especially fond of cooking dishes that come from Mexico’s Yucatán region as well as Mayan recipes.
One of his favorites to cook is Budin Azteca, a dish made of chicken, cheese, and peppers layered between corn tortillas.
It was on the menu the day my wife and two of our friends were there for lunch.
Other items included Tarascan tortilla soup made with a grilled tomato base, Chile Rellenos with a shrimp and ancho sauce and Puerco Barbacoa — slow cooked chunks of pork that were sweet and spicy and practically melted in your mouth.
Originally from Canada, the 41-year-old Hebert moved from New York City to Freehold, in GreeneCounty, eight years ago.
His background is in interior design, a career he’s had for two decades.
Food has always been a big part of his life whether cooking it himself for family and friends or eating out.
“I always planned to retire and open a restaurant,” he said. Due to the economy he was unable to retire, but the economic crisis did afford him the opportunity to open the restaurant, he said.
He opened his doors on Dec. 8.
“It’s rough,” he said of opening a restaurant in the current economy, “but starting any business at any time isn’t easy.”
Hebert is relying on word of mouth to drum up business, which seems to be working.
“It’s getting better,” he said with a smile.
The Café at Hudson Supermarket is open Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday, from noon to 5 p.m., and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information call the restaurant at 518-822-8008.