Baba Louie's - Hudson, NY
Now for us Hudson isn't as much a weekend escape as an afternoon/evening escape, but I'll tag it that way nonetheless. Our NYC/Jersey friends will appreciate the clarity.
J and I had no idea how much time to budget for Hudson. Is it like Middleburg--adorable, but one little street until nothin'? Or more like Frederick? Hampden? The answer is basically none of the above.
Although everything is along the main drag, that main drag is long. We arrived at 3:45 hoping to fill the space before an appropriate dinner time, and we only made it down one side of the street. Granted, things started to close at 5-6 and when the sun was completely down it got cold, so we were happy to retire for dinner at 6. There's lots of browsing to do---galleries, antique shops, furniture, books, crafts and jewelry, some clothing (including amazing toasty/fashionable brown boots in my size on sale for $130 that I didn't try on in an unlikely display of self-restraint). Fear not, though, because I got two great necklaces. While some of the shops had items great to look at but impossible (for me) to buy ($800 vase anyone? $7000 chair?), there were a few with reasonable pieces that I could see us buying, particularly if we were outfitting a home.
We've heard a bit of buzz around some Hudson restaurants, including Swoon Kitchenbar, DA/BA, and more. Swoon was closed for renovations, DA/BA was feeling too fancy and pricy for our tastes on that particular day, and we needed some cozy comfort food.
A chatty gallery owner suggested Baba Louie's, his local favorite. Thin crust pizza with anything and everything on it, straight from the brick oven, and HUGE salads, he promised.
The salads come in unmentioned, so "regular," and "family size." The regular could easily be for 2-4 people; we finished ours together, but had 3 small slices of the large pizza leftover as a result. We had toasted pepitas on our salad. YAY.
The pizza was great. All the options sounded delicious, but we opted for spinach, figs, prosciutto. The sweetness of the figs played well with the rest of the ingredients, and you could tell by the taste that the spinach was fresh.
Mmmm lentil soup. That's what you need on a flippin' freezing night.
Leftovers for lunch.
They have a spelt crust available for my less wheat-tolerant friends, and plenty of vegan options.
517 Warren Street
(Also locations in Barrington and Pittsfield, MA)