Photos by Sabrina Sucato unless otherwise noted
Led by the team behind Cosimo’s, the Orange County taco spot sits next to Pizza Shop, with scenic views of the Hudson River beyond.
We’re calling it. Of all the foodie towns in the Hudson Valley, Newburgh is the spot we’re watching most closely. Why? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s home to the buzziest brewery along the Hudson River. It could also have something to do with the influx of award-winning eateries along Liberty Street. Either way, just the thought of Newburgh’s burgeoning food landscape has our stomachs rumbling.
This time, however, instead of looking toward the city center, we’re turning an eye to the riverside. Inside the old West Shore Train Station building along the shore of the Hudson, a spicy new shop gets ready for its grand debut. Set alongside Pizza Shop, its sister eatery, Hudson Taco will bring Mexican fusion fare to the waterfront.
“It’s going to be a social food experience,” explains Nick Citera, co-owner of the restaurant and Cosimo’s Restaurant Group, its parent organization. Along with co-owner, Nicolas DiBrizzi, Citera is hard at work on the finishing touches to the eatery, which features approachable, inventive dishes that highlight Hudson Valley farms and ingredients.
“It’s going to be totally different than Cosimo’s,” Citera enthuses. Unlike the Italian family of restaurants, Hudson Taco embraces traditional to contemporary fusion eats on its menu, which was crafted by Chefs Jason Kooperman and Matt Sherry. Diners can stick to comforting beef and pork tacos or experiment with Korean barbecue shortrib tacos, build-your-own bowls, steak and shisito nachos, or even tuna poke.
The drink lineup isn’t too shabby, either. The wine list is curated, with an expert attention to which wines pair well with the featured tacos. As for cocktails, tequila takes center stage at the bar. Before doors open, Citerra and DiBrizzi plan to bring in specialized tequila mixologists to train the staff on tequila history, recipes, and styles. There are even talks of eventually converting one of the basement rooms into a tequila cellar for tastings and private events.
Of course, the true pièce de résistance is the beer. Hudson Taco isn’t even open yet, but it already has a one-of-a-kind beer with nearby Newburgh Brewing Company. Dubbed “AMAiZING,” the corn lager is crafted with malted corn from Hudson Valley Malt. The hyper-local brew will be available at the brewery, the restaurant, and Cosimo’s locations throughout the Hudson Valley.
After intensive construction and staff training through the end of 2018, Hudson Taco will open its doors to the public on February 11. As for the build, renovations to the property included the installation of a bar inside and an expansive patio outside. The closed patio, which seats 60-70 people, overlooks the train tracks that bridge the space between the eatery and the Hudson River. Throughout the edifice, which was designed by Warren and Wetmore, the same architectural firm that designed Grand Central Terminal in New York City, historic herringbone and soldier brick patterns lend an old-fashioned air to the semi-industrial space. Exposed ducts and 15-ft high ceilings add to the overall attractive, open floor plan.
“We feel like we want to have a connection with the food and the customers,” Citera notes. To this end, the restaurant sources ingredients from New York suppliers like Hudson Valley Cattle Company and Murray’s Chicken.
In addition to supporting local inside the restaurant, Citera and DiBrizzi hope to foster a connection with the city of Newburgh as a whole. The duo secured parking for 25-30 cars on both sides of the road, a move they hope will slow down traffic and lend itself to a safer environment. With the help of the city, the pair will also put in a crosswalk to literally and figuratively bridge the space between bustling Liberty Street and the waterfront district.
“Newburgh is in line for major growth,” Citera says. “We want to revitalize an entire community.”