Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hudson's Lager and Vine

Another foodie friend invited me out to her hometown of Hudson to check out the newly opened Lager & Vine Gastropub & Wine Bar. Of course, I took her up on the offer immediately--always willing to travel for good food.

They take reservations by phone, so we made one for 6PM and were seated immediately in a comfy booth towards the front of the restaurant. The restaurant is broken up into a couple of rooms, so the conversation level remains minimal and it was very pleasant to be able to catch up properly.

Our server was young, but as sweet as can be, and very professional and knowledgeable about the menu. They clearly have trained their staff well since opening. She was attentive, but let us take our time ordering. There were a lot of items that sounded great on the menu, so we had some difficulty choosing.

We decided to share the Garlic Roasted Crostini with fresh baked thin cut sour dough chips with wine infused cheese spreads ($9). The spreads will apparently change every season.
Currently, they were offering a goat cheese infused with white wine (Pinot? my memory escapes me) and a Cabernet-infused creamy cheddar. Both cheese spreads were very enjoyable. The goat cheese was smooth and light in flavor, and the cheddar had quite a bite to it. They balanced each other well. The real issue with this dish? The sour dough chips. They were cut thicker than I think is appropriate for a dish like this, and they were toasted beyond life. It was incredibly hard to bite through, and very rough on the mouth. With a thinner cut chip, or just lightly toasted bread-- this "tidbit to share" would be a winner.

We each wanted a salad, so we went with the Classic Chopped Wedge with crumbled bleu, beefsteak tomato, and onion ($6).
As you can see, there was nothing special about this wedge salad. It was fresh and fine, but not memorable.

Lastly, we split one of their flatbreads-- the L&V Blanco with garlic basil white sauce, prosciutto, basil, green olives, mozzarella, Parmesan, and deep fried crispy capers drizzled with herb oil ($12).
The toppings and overall flavor were outstanding. The flatbread itself, however, did not hold up well and was very flimsy from the beginning. It needed to be crispier, and this forced us to use our forks. I really wanted it to be better, because the combination of those toppings was spot on. It had such potential.

Potential. That's how I left Lager and Vine. Thinking that there is real potential there, but they just don't quite have it yet from what we experienced. Some real "bread" issues in the kitchen. It was just little things about the dishes that could have been helped, so hopefully they will adapt over time.

They have a great bar area, and boast that they only have craft beers on tap. They even have wine on tap, and many options by the bottle of both. On their dinner menu, suggested pairings are printed right with the dishes. They are really trying to capture the feel of a great wine bar and a trendy gastropub. I think the prices are reasonable, service outstanding, and menu tempting. They just aren't quite there yet.

Have you been?

Lager & Vine
30 Streetsboro Street
Hudson, OH 44236


Crystal @EatDrinkClev said...

My friend just mentioned going here. I might give it a bit more time to let them get some of the kitchen kinks out.