My love for celebrating my own birthday is a well-known, and tolerated truth. About a month before May 3, I start dropping comments like, “My birthday is so close,” and “I can’t believe it’s already been a year since my last birthday!” These comments are met early with eye-rolling and later panic because you still have no plans, even though I’ve been warning you for a month! Or maybe that’s just my husband’s experience.
Anyway! This was quite a year for my birthday. Though my actual day of birth wasn’t till Saturday, my girlfriends kicked off my “birthday week” with Monday morning donuts from Honey Dip. All signs pointed to a happy couple of days.
Come Friday, they brought out their big guns. Check out this chocolate creation, the likes of which you have never seen.
That is a triple-layer chocolate cake. That middle layer you see there is not cake, in fact, but brownie. YES. There is brownie in the middle of my cake. I’m always a fan of layer cakes — more places to put frosting. I housed that whole piece first thing in the morning, and jittered my way through a busy work day. After burning it off at the gym (or one-sixteenth of it), husband and I got ready for our dinner at Hudson 29 in Upper Arlington.
Cameron Mitchell almost never disappoints, and I was excited to see their new space and try the menu. It’s a casually swanky place (go with me here), full of comfy fabrics and dark wood. The bar was full, and due to the dim lighting and buzz of the other customers, I felt a little like I was dining in LA on an episode of the Hills.
We started with cocktails (please assume this sentence to be true for every dinner blog post ever). I started with the Daisy, and husband went for a classic gin martini, and even shared his stuffed olives with the birthday girl.
Mine was light, refreshing, but not overly sweet. It was also popular: almost every table was sprinkled with these pink drinks, and I was happy to assimilate.
We were surprised to see sushi on the menu (well, I wasn’t — I do my research), and husband chose the Hawaii Five-O as our appetizer. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of sushi. I will try anything you throw at me, but sushi has never been my favorite. This, on the other hand, was delicious.
Please pretend like this roll isn’t half-eaten. We got a little excited when it arrived and forgot all about my blogging duties. Husband described it as “sweet,” well I went for a more direct “delicious.” It was excellent. I would order this one again, without hesitation, and refuse to share.
So then of course it was time for more drinks. I went for the famously potent French 75 (happy birthday to me). Do yourself a favor and read about this drink’s history; any drink favored by Ernest Hemingway in his Paris phase is one that deserves a place on my order rotation.
And to dinner! I went with the night’s special of pan-fried walleye, and husband went for a generous portion (is there any other kind?) of medium-rare prime rib.
My fish was well-prepared. It wasn’t my favorite (husband says I just don’t like fish — but then why do I keep ordering it!), but he loved it. The leftover portion went beautifully in a late-night fish taco the next night. The fries were delightful. The skinny, seasoned type are my favorite, and these fit the bill.
Husband’s prime rib was very, very wonderful. I stole more than a few bites from him, and the horseradish cream was the crowning jewel. He was extremely pleased, though didn’t love having to share so much.
So here we are, stuffed to the gills, savoring our last sips and bites, when our lovely waitress, Erin, came back and offered a complimentary dessert for my birthday! I cheerfully accepted another slice of chocolate cake, complemented with a scoop of Graeter’s vanilla ice cream. (This lesson in complimentary vs. complementary brought to you by grammarians everywhere.)
The cake was dense and the frosting thick. I know I don’t have to convince anyone of the genius that is the pairing of ice cream and cake, but really, the lightness and coolness of the ice cream was wonderful against the heavy Texas sheet cake.
Have I convinced you to try Hudson 29 yet? You should go. The cocktails are fun, the food delicious, and the service wonderful (thanks, Erin!). The ambiance is hip, but not snooty. You’ll feel like you’re in with the in-crowd, but after one (or three) French 75s, you won’t care about the cool kids at all.
Tune in later this week for more birthday fun!
Hudson 29 is located at 1600 W Lane Ave. M-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-9pm.