Next stop, Marty O’Brien’s. Another first, but it definitely will not be my last. Stopping in for Hudson Restaurant Week, was a great idea— a great meal for a great price. The bar eatery offers a hefty menu for the $25 prix-fixe, with appetizers like General Tso’s chicken and crab strudel, and mains like fettuccine and shrimp and braised short ribs among others. There are a ton of options and most definitely something for everyone.
Even though, walking into the corner spot, you are thrown into a space complete with a long bar, a bunch TV screens and high tables lining the wall, Marty O’Brien’s serves up extremely high-quality food. It looks like a bar at first glance, but further in there is casual dining space and a hearty restaurant menu, with full meals that do not qualify as just bar food.
The French onion soup was classic, small and served with French bread and a heavy dose of gruyere cheese. It was salty and warm, sweet with the caramelized onions, typical and delicious. Even the macaroni and cheese was a step beyond rough and ready mac and cheese. The mixture of mascarpone and gruyere cheeses along with the salty smoked bacon gave an adult flare to an easy favorite. Both appetizers had the comfort of bar food, but a quality that made them more special.
Though petite, the hanger steak entrée was a blend of traditional flavors with an unexpected twist. Blue cheese and steak marry in many a salad, but at Marty O’Brien’s, the slices of meat rested in a pool of thick sweet onion and blue cheese sauce, uniting the flavors in a less straightforward way. Appealing roasted corn on the cob also offered an elevated presentation as well as a smoky sweet taste. The mashed potatoes, though pretty normal, were executed with ease, adding that pillow of comfort.
A hefty portion of fish dominated the plate for the potato crusted salmon option. It was far heavier and far more satisfying than initially expected. The salmon was filled with lump crabmeat, which added another consistency and a layer of sweet meatiness. The potato crust offered merely texture, a crunch to the soft chew of the salmon and its filling. Yellow rice and sautéed spinach accompanied the fish, just filling the plate, adding color and sustenance. It was the topped salmon that was the star, a unique conglomeration of the familiar.
Dessert was either a creamy cheesecake or zesty carrot cake. Neither was the consummate dessert, but each had elements of deliciousness. The crust of the cheesecake was like a cookie, soft, but spicy because of cinnamon, which cut the sweetness of the creamy filling. But the moist carrot cake was dense while its cream cheese frosting had a lightness to it that was addictive.
Do not let the long bar and gigantic TV screens fool you; there is something truly delicious in store at Marty O’Brien’s. It is both a home for Hoboken regulars, as well as a spot for a low key but high quality meal. Can’t wait to go again! Thanks #HudsonRW.
And stay tuned for more #HudsonRW on facebook, instagram, twitter, yelp and pintrest! Where will I go next? You just have to wait and see.