An anchor should be a port in the storm, a refuge, and a happy place in which to dwell, so look no further than The Hudson Anchor Seafood & Grill for comfort and a satisfying repast in these often tumultuous times. Nestled at the base of Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, with a view to the lighthouse and the Hudson River, Gary Serina and Molinda Kearns’ new restaurant offers fresh seafood presentations along with a variety of specialty entrees and appetizers that are created for comfort.
Serina and Kearns opened Hudson Anchor on March 9th at the former site of Serina’s Lighthouse Coffee Company in the building Serina’s father purchased in 1957. He grew up in his father’s bar and grill, The Tappan Zee Inn, and, as he said, “I always knew I’d be here.” He and Kearns focus on classic, fresh and unadulterated flavors, with seafood delivered daily. Their chef, Guy Fino, trained at Philadelphia’s JNA Institute of Culinary Arts and makes everything from scratch including all sauces and salad dressings. “Nothing in a bottle,” Serina explained. Food accountability is their mission, stemming from Kearns’ professional background as a chemistry professor at Concordia College with a deep interest in biochemistry, fermentation and neuro-gastronomy. She has also taught gastronomy in India for 5 years in conjunction with Concordia.
Hudson Anchor’s menu includes such classics as Oysters Rockefeller (and, why not, given the location?) and seafood risotto – a mélange of delicately flavored sautéed plump scallops, clams, mussels and shrimp in a white wine and garlic butter sauce. Chef Fino’s linguini and clams a la Anchor provides the unusual complement of a black bean salsa topping – classic but with a twist. Signatures dishes include Maryland style crab cakes, the seafood medley (in a mango butter sauce), and the popular lobster thermidor redolent of brandy and shallots, and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. Sesame encrusted tuna is made to order for those who enjoy rare sushi-style tuna or their fish cooked more well done. The whole grilled branzino, skillfully enhanced with herbs de Provence, is accompanied by creamy potatoes in a lemon caper sauce.
But, seafood isn’t the only feature at Hudson Anchor. Diners can enjoy broccoli rabe and spicy Italian sausage or steak au poivre. And if you can’t choose between steak and seafood, try the “surf and turf for two” – two lobster tails in a creamy vermouth-enhanced demi-glaze, accompanied by a pan-seared encrusted rib eye in a brandy, mustard cream sauce. “Stuffed airline chicken” gets its name from the French-cut chicken breast, wings spread, stuffed with spinach, roasted red pepper and fresh mozzarella cheese.
A raw bar boasts fresh clams and oysters on the half shell. Other appetizers include tuna tartar, clams casino and fried calamari – classics all. But, several unusual choices include a smoked salmon bulb: smoked salmon stuffed with fresh lump crabmeat marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and basil and accompanied by crostini, capers and eggs, all served on a bed of frisee. There’s even an appetizer entitled “beet stack”: roasted beets layered with goat cheese and encrusted with pistachios napped in a beet vinaigrette. Multiple in-house soups, fresh salads and homemade desserts round out Hudson Anchor’s offerings.
A fully stocked bar provides a wide variety of spirits highlighting special cocktails such as an elderflower martini and the biscotti delight, not to mention 7 varieties of mojitos. Kearns chose her wine list carefully, with an eye to affordability and pairing with both seafood and meat offerings. In addition to nine bottled beer choices, 11 beers are on draft with a focus on craft beers from the Hudson Valley region. The restaurant’s first beer tasting will showcase Tarrytown’s own Duncan’s Abbey on May 4th, brewed from hops grown on local properties. Poughkeepsie’s Mill House beers will be featured on May 17th with a four-course beer pairing dinner.
Sleepy Hollow native, Abraham Pestana, presides over Hudson Anchor’s flawless service. With two floors, seating for eight at the bar, and the refurbished deck awaiting outdoor seasonal dining enhanced by a magnificent river view, he manages his staff deftly. Serina has renovated his restaurant from top to bottom but made sure his father’s paintings of boats, the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, and the Hudson River remained, providing a touch of continuity and hominess to the shining interior.
So, look for the ocean blue exterior at the base of Beekman Street, where you will find Hudson Anchor: a classic “port in the storm.”
If You Go
222 Beekman Avenue
Hours: Dinner (daily except Tuesday): 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
Lunch starting May 5th: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday brunch: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.:
Sunday lunch: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Three-course prix-fi xe menu offered Monday and Wednesday.