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The Waterfront American Bistro Hudson Line Commuters Should Check out


Chef Matt Kay, who owned the popular Cedar Street Grill in Dobbs Ferry from 2012 to 2018, is back.


Herb roasted chicken with spiced farro and wild mushrooms.


“I was in food sales equipment at specialty meat, poultry, and duck company D’artagnan [for the past year or so]” says Kay, “but my heart still is being in the kitchen.”


The wings, formerly served at Cedar Street Grill, are topped with Sriracha maple syrup and served with buttermilk blue cheese.


So, when he learned that Hudson Social, a 90-seat casual eatery known for panini and gourmet burgers and located in the historic Dobbs Ferry train station house was for sale, he moved on the opportunity. We caught up with the Hastings-on-Hudson resident who grew up in Dobbs Ferry, to discuss his return to the county dining scene at the revamped Hudson Social.


The arugula salad has blistered grapes, farro, goat-cheese, and-almonds.


Westchester Magazine: What led you to come back to restaurant ownership?

Matt Kay: “I always loved this location and told myself that if I ever got back into this business, it would have to be a great location. I became friendly with the previous owners [of Hudson Social] and about five years ago, I mentioned to one of them that if they ever wanted to take on another partner, that I was very interested. We had a few conversations, but nothing ever came of it until I found out the restaurant was for sale in October 2018. I found an interested business partner in Dobbs Ferry resident Ron Dirusso (also a former Cedar Street Grill customer) and eventually moved forward to take over the space.”  


Burrata with charred tomatoes, basil, lemon, and garlic toast.


What is your cooking philosophy?

MK: “Simple, fresh good ingredients, not doctored too much.”


The crispy Brussels sprouts are a holdover from the Cedar Street Grill menu.


What is the concept?

MK: “American bistro is the cuisine I’m calling it, but I really wanted to be able to check all the boxes. First, I wanted to have a place for the commuters to come before and after work. In the mornings we have great coffee, fresh juice, and pastries. When they come home from work, they can stop in for a cocktail or glass of wine and maybe even decide to stay for dinner. My kitchen is fairly small so immediately I said to myself ‘Less is more.’ I wanted to create a menu that would be approachable for a family, making sure I had something for the dad, mom, and kids. I also wanted to incorporate a seasonal cocktail, wine, and beer program.”


Salmon with charred rainbow carrots and roasted sweet potatoes.


Any local/Hudson Valley purveyors that you use?

MK: “I’m using Campbell Meats for charcuterie, Crown Maple syrup, and local farmers’ markets in the Rivertowns.”


Pat Lafrieda beef, sharp cheddar, and B & B pickles make up the Social-Burger.


When re-opening an existing restaurant, what is the most important thing to get right?

MK: “I think building a strong and positive relationship with the staff is important. Even though it’s my business, I was the new guy. Most of the staff have been here for a long time, some since they opened five years ago. I am very happy that they all decided to stay. They are all amazing people and really embraced the changes.”


Charcuterie board


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