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Restaurant Review: New American Food at Bruno’s Café in Hudson, NY

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Hudson’s newest eatery is a nifty little joint called Bruno’s that opened in late June at 227 Warren Street, next door to DA|BA. Sisters Wendy and Shannon Kenneally launched the café in part of an old building they’re painstakingly rehabbing. It’s teeny — inside, two tables seat six to eight, depending how big everyone is, and there’s room for three or four outside at a counter under the window. The menu meanders all over the map of popular fast food — pizza, hot dogs, burgers, quesadillas, burritos, falafel — but with a few unusual twists, like the bacon, lettuce, and cantaloupe sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise, for one. “Everything’s great,” reports Carrie Haddad, who has a gallery up the street and fabulous taste in food as well as art. Prices are good, too — most choices are $6 to $8.

Best sellers so far are “whatever’s on the specials board,” Wendy reports, although the Cuban sandwich (fresh and cured ham, Manchego cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and homemade spicy pickles) is especially popular, and the grilled shrimp wrap with Asian slaw is “a huge hit,” she says. Most food is prepared to order, although you’ll find tomato pies, quiches, and such at the grab-and-go counter. Meats come from Northwind Farms and most produce is from Holmquest Farms. Small as the place is, the Kenneallys made room for shelves so they can sell Holmquest’s fresh produce, too. As the rehabbing inches along, the café and market will expand into an adjacent space.

brunos sign

On Fridays and Saturdays in summer, when the young crowd is out catting around, Bruno’s serves until 2 a.m. “Most kitchens close at 10, so at the height of the season we also got the overflow from fine-dining restaurants,” says Wendy, happily. “Very well-dressed people came and had sandwiches in our casual little café.” Off season, they serve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Sundays).

Bruno, in case you’re wondering, was an abused Doberman that Shannon rescued in Brooklyn and brought to the family farm in West Ghent, where he lived “the life of Riley,” says Wendy. And are the sisters having fun with their new endeavor? “We’re having a blast,” she replies. Call 518-822-9344 for more info.

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