Next Week’s Restaurant Review: Hudson Water Club in Haverstraw

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The Hudson Water Club opened at the Haverstraw Marina in June. It’s got killer waterfront views of the Hudson and — suprise! — the food’s good too. Here’s a sneak peek at the review. Let me know what you think of the Hudson Water Club and I’ll include a sampling of your comments in Wednesday’s Journal News.

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(Rory Glaeseman/TJN) 

The Blacks weigh in, after the jump.

Deven Black and Jill Rovitzky Black
For The Journal News
It would be easy enough for Hudson Water Club, located at Haverstraw Marina, to coast on its near-idyllic spot: right on the bank of the Hudson, opposite a particularly lush and scenic swath of wooded Westchester hills. You could sit on the deck, gazing at the dramatic view, and have yourself a fine old time even if the food were just a notch or two north of mediocre.

Fortunately, though, the food does a great job of keeping pace with the dramatic setting, making Hudson Water Club a destination dining spot. Go while the weather is still good and enjoy drinks and a meal on the spacious deck; even when the weather fails, you still can enjoy dinner and the same terrific view from the equally airy-feeling, glassed-in dining room, brand new as of midsummer, but boasting chic touches of mid-century moderne style.

Dinner starts with crusty, rustic bread and a little dish of olive oil, decanted with a dramatic flourish from a little pot onto a square white plate. We loved the way the oil looked, a golden pool flecked with red pepper flakes, but found it a bit acrid, possibly the result of too free a hand with the pepper.

As an appetizer, the New England clam chowder, creamy and thick with chunks of potato and lots of tender but substantial clams, was almost too much. A full bowl of this extremely satisfying soup made it tough to soldier on with the rest of the meal. Tuna tartare, with a wasabi-accented dressing and a small mizuna salad, makes a lighter alternative. The bitter, jagged-edged mizuna, Japan’s answer to arugula, was an apt foil for the slight sweetness of the diced raw tuna.

Pan-fried crab cakes were the entrée of choice when we were at Hudson Water Club; we spotted at least one order on nearly every table. The two substantial mounds really were mostly crabmeat under their crunchy, coppery-brown shells, with just enough breading to hold them together. They were served atop a subtly seasoned chipotle mayonnaise, with a sneaky cumulative effect: You don’t really get the full spicy effect until you’re nearly done. Long, thin fries on the side echoed the texture of the crab cakes — crispy outside, soft within. A small ramekin of mixed green and red cabbage slaw, clearly made in house, finished out the plate.

Mushroom ravioli in a truffle-scented cream sauce may sound too autumnal for a summer night, but it was gratifyingly earthy and light enough in texture to suit the weather.

We tried to keep it light for dessert, splitting a cupcake-sized angel food cake topped with intensely flavored berry compote and accented with a sprinkle of oatmeal streusel. That and espresso accompanied the after-dark entertainment, courtesy of Mother Nature: a dramatic display of lightning flashing up and down the opposite bank.

Service was friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and generally attentive. The biggest room for improvement lies on the beverage side. The beer list is a boring assemblage of the usual suspects while the wine list is uninspiring, but among the appealing cocktails we can recommend the blackberry mojito as ideal riverside-sipping material.

Crushed fresh berries mix well with the muddled mint, and the sugar cane swizzle stick is a nice touch for this refreshing but not overly sugary summer drink.

In short, Hudson Water Club beautifully exploits its spectacular riverside site and provides food that is as good as the setting, making it a worthwhile dining option for all seasons.

Hudson Water Club
606 Beach Road at Haverstraw Marina, West Haverstraw.
845-271-4046.

Cuisine
New American.

Hours
Lunch and dinner daily.

Price
Entrees $10 to $20.

In brief
Dramatic river views, an appealing menu that highlights seafood but goes beyond, and service both professional and personable make this waterfront restaurant a dining destination. Even when weather shuts down the outdoor tables, the expansive windows on the airy dining room offer the same lagniappe of terrific scenery with your meal.

What we liked:
New England clam chowder, mushroom ravioli, tuna tartare, pan-fried crab cakes.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

10 Comments

  1. Jacques Larsen on

    I have been there three times since their opening around the 4th of July. Atmosphere, service and food were great each and everytime. You will enjoy the experience as well.

  2. I have been back to the Water Club several times. Can’t beat the view,their deck, music around the bar area. Service has been excellent. I have enjoyed their burgers, salads, pasta, and appetizers. I feel like I’m on vacation while dining. Going back again tonight.

  3. Went there for fathers day. Our luck and we got the worst waiter in place (since there only seemed to be one male waiter you’ll know if you get him). We sat for about 15 minutes before anyone even came to speak to us. Another 10 plus minutes for drinks. When menus finally came they were missing a page and I had to ask for the specials menu 10 minutes later when he returned for our order. Food and atmosphere was great. If it weren’t for the service I’d give it a 5 star rating.

  4. This isnt the place to go with an expectation of fine service. The food is very good, and the ambiance is great. Go, with an expectation of a relaxing dinner experience, outside on the deck, with beautiful views of the hudson river and the boats going in and out of the marina.

    PS: I wish they would send someone to the brick beach below the railing, at low tide every now and then to clean up the garbage. One shouldn’t have to look at garbage strewn about while looking over the rail. They need to take responsibility for their waterfront.

    Just my opinion

  5. Bryant Urena on

    On my visit to the Hudson water club I had a great time.The live band along with a delicious meal was excellent.The inside and outside of the restaurant was spotless and stunning.I ordered a new york strip steak (medium well) with a dozen little necks (raw clams).You can tell they put a lot of time in effort in the food that arrived on our table.I give the hudson water club five stars and two thumbs up !

  6. Ironically that the “blacks” weighed in, because the blacks I went with were not welcomed.

    Narrating this story reminds me of what those poor children of color must have felt when they visited that awful Philadelphia pool.

    Now, I visited with a few friends on a boat, mostly black. Upon docking, we began to walk up to the restaurant to hear a live band and buy a few drinks.

    We were summarily accosted by the manager and interrogating for just stepping onto their property. Well dressed, boat owning, professionals–treated like refugees.
    The woman, a haggish blond, asked if we’d arrived on a bus. A bus?! Do buses sail in Haverstraw?

    That was only the beginning. She wanted to know what we wanted, why we’d come to see a band and if we did come why we came so late. When we said their website said it started at nine she then asked why we’d come only to see an hour of it.

    We were disgusted with her, and the patrons that stood there with alarm at our presence and slight glee at the treatment we received. We must have tainted their haven because we were not asked if we’d like a menu, some drinks, to sit–just stares.

    Needless to say, all who are concerned with rights of fellow citizens should walk with their mighty dollar and spend it elsewhere. We certainly will!

  7. I WENT TO THE HUDSON WATER CLUB FOR NEW YEARS EVE AND HAD THE BEST TIME EVER. WE WERE A PARTY OF 10 AND WE FELT LIKE A PARTY OF 100. EVERYONE WAS FRIENDLY AND THE STAFF MADE US FEEL LIKE FAMILY. COZY ATMOSPHERE AND THE FOOD WAS YUMMMMY.
    4 COURSE MEAL THAT WAS QUALITY AND COOKED PERFECTLY.
    THE ONLY DOWN SIDE WAS THAT I HAD TO UNDO MY PANT BUTTON.
    WE MADE RESERVATION FOR NEXT YEAR NEW YEARS EVE PARTY AND WE CAN’T WAIT TILL THE DECK OPENS BACK UP!!!
    THIS RESTAURANT IS A MUST!!!

  8. Please do not waste your time And money. The food is horrible. Way to over priced. Service sucks. What a waste.

  9. I agree with the post of May 29th who said don’t waste your time . . . We docked our boat last Friday and went up to the outside deck bar for lunch. We have done this several times a season for the past few years and it has only gone down hill with each visit.

    Food is WAY OVERPRICED. Only have several bottle beer choices and if you like Chardonnay they only had “one” choice by the glass which was el cheapo Snap Dragon.

    Their lunch prices were so high we opted to just split a Chix quesidilla which had bits of tasteless chicken and some canned corned poured over the top.

    The Hell with the great view . . . we will never go back to this place until they change owners again . . . AVOID!

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