Hills and mountains are formed by vast underground food deposits, which, over time, stretch the landscape into soft mounds of untapped edibility. Dig into a wilderness bounty with today’s deal: for $49, you get a three-course chef's tasting menu for two (a $99 value) at Hudson's on the Bend, located near Lake Travis and west of the Mansfield Dam. Substitutions are not allowed with this Groupon, and it is not valid toward alcohol.
Award-winning chef and owner Jeff Blank and executive chef Kelly Casey whip up dishes that pair wild game with seasonal ingredients and gourmet sauces, all in a rustic yet upscale dining atmosphere. Embark on a three-course adventure by choosing between two starters: smoked duck breast with jicama, jalapeño, and figs wrapped in an applewood-smoked bacon embrace, or goat cheese with a candied-pecan crust in a bed of greens and blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Shirt-rending decision making and general pearl clenching are eliminated in the second round: both the rosemary prime tenderloin and the hot and crunchy trout go head-to-head to pack a wallop of tastiness. End with homemade caramel-pecan pie in belgian chocolate, or choose the peach cobbler with cream for a mouth-moistening, endorphin-spurring dessert finish.
Charming and elegant, Hudson's cozy setting takes inspiration from its restored ranch location. Inside, soft candlelight, fresh flowers, and exposed stone walls create a romantic setting, and outside, tiny nodes of light draped in a cluster of trees illuminate diners on the patio or in the garden gazebo. Hudson's is open seven days a week for dinner, accommodating both Saturday-night knitting parties and Tuesday-evening gaggles of roustabouts.
Hudson's on the Bend
Jeff Blank and his kitchen crew like to joke that other cooks must suffer from a "fear of cooking." That's because, for the award-winning chef, cooking is a kind of alchemy—an ambitious experiment that is sometimes fated to fail. But when it works, Jeff and his Executive Chef Kelly Casey transform fresh ingredients, often plucked from local farms and ranches, into piquant dishes adorned with housemade sauces, such as tomatillo white chocolate, mango jalapeño, and bourbon vanilla praline. Behind the kitchen, a stone smokehouse infuses ostrich, rattlesnake, and venison meats with dusky notes, creating entrees that have won them recognition for the Best Wild Game Dish from readers of the Austin Chronicle.
Diners take in the gustatory array on a patio and in a garden gazebo, surrounded by vegetable plants, flowers, and trees wrapped in petite nodes of light. Even the rustic, upscale décor—characterized by soft candlelight, red tablecloths, and vibrant paintings along exposed-stone walls—has earned acclaim, finding favorable mention in the New York Times' travel guide.