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 $99.90 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, alongside executive chef Robert Rhoades, whip up dishes that pair wild game with fresh, seasonal ingredients and gourmet sauces, all in a rustic yet upscale dining atmosphere. Begin your three-course adventure by choosing between two starters: the chipotle lobster bisque topped with a parmesan puff pastry crouton, or garden greens tossed with sweet and spicy candied almonds, marinated tomatillos, and a roasted poblano lime dressing. Shirt-rending decision making and general pearl-clenching is eliminated in the second round: both the tender, espresso-rubbed elk back strap and the hot and crunchy ruby trout go head to head to pack a double wallop of tastiness for your primary tasting tongue. End with creamy, homemade vanilla-bean ice cream and warm berry flambé, or choose the Chambord chocolate mousse 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 brick create a romantic setting, while 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, so bring your Saturday-night knitting party or cool heels with a Tuesday-evening gaggle of roustabouts.
Yelpers give Hudson's on the Bend a 4.5-star average, it's been featured on News Radio 590 KLBJ and KVUE-TV food critic Rob Balon's DiningOutWithRobBalon.com, and Frommer's gives it a "very highly recommended" rating:
- And finally, you've gotta try the Sauteed Lobster and Shrimp over Linguini with a Lobster Sherry Cream Sauce that's at the top of the flavor list. I mean this dish was meant to be eaten, fondly recalled, anticipated, and eaten again upon a return visit. – Rob Balon, DiningOutWithRobBalon.com
- Pecan-smoked duck breast and a mixed grill of venison, rabbit, quail, and buffalo are among the excellent entrees I've sampled; there's also a superb trout served with tangy mango-habanero butter. – Frommer's
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 decor—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.