HudsonRW: Hoboken Gourmet Company

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It’s a tiny place, so call ahead.

But the portions do not mirror the square footage of Hoboken Gourmet Company. The Hudson Restaurant Week $38 prix-fixe dishes were generous in size and in comfort. The limited options did create a repetition of flavors and ingredients, but still offered a singular selection of the regular menu.

Two thick slabs of chewy salty bacon overlapped and stretched the length of the colossal plate. Stripes of sweet and piquant barbeque sauce smoothed the salt and brought on a little heat, while caramelized onions highlighted the sweetness, creamy avocado added luxury and acidic grape tomatoes cut the decadence.
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Thick and warm, the cream of broccoli soup was heavy and hearty, resembling soft mashed potatoes. The flavor was enjoyable, but the texture was dense and almost unrelenting. A few bites were like happiness, an escape from the sting of the winter evening.
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The winter salad was small and overrun by a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Wiling mixed greens leaves succumbed to dressing, insurmountable pungent feta and green apples, which added already overpowering tartness of the combination. Sweet candy coated pecans created diversity in taste.
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A thick cut pork chop paired with thinly slice sautéed green apples kissing a pool of velvety mashed potatoes verged on classic. The tart apples and the rich pork played together well as any age-old combination would.

Some of the regular menu items had a different flare than those on the restaurant week menu, like the shrimp in garlic tapas or Spanish steak entrée.
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Those shrimp in garlic felt rustic and foreign but familiar at the same time. The fresh, tender shrimp were swimming in a bath of garlic, oil and broth, brine and charm. Garlicky crusty bread rested atop in the tiny cast iron skillet, longing to sop up the flavorful juices.

And the tender steak drowning in is braising liquid, a thick sauce founded on a sofrito, Spanish spices and time, topped out of place mashed potatoes. Its accompanying rice was fragrant and complimented its Latin roots.
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The caramel cone rounded out the prix fixe dinner, singing a sweet note. The chewy caramel cone was filled with the silky cream that was thick with an uncertain tang. It was rich and luscious, with nutty caramel notes and a mysterious hum of cream and cream cheese.

Limited seating, palpable ambiance and humble charm add hefty appeal to Hoboken Gourmet Company. The tiny kitchen, overheard orders and tight space make the eatery unique and an adventure. The food is comfortable and welcoming, classic and expected but it’s the experience that captivates.
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