Hudson Valley might be the place everyone is swooning over, but the love affair behind new Fort Greene café Hudson Jane began a little closer to home in Greenwich Village. It was at the intersection of Hudson and Jane Streets that co-owners Jen LaPorta and Megan Johnson decided to become more than just friends.
“We fell in love over food,” says LaPorta. “We’ve been together for nine years and married for four—[opening the restaurant] seemed like the next step.”
Opening a neighborhood restaurant was a lifetime dream for the couple, both Clinton Hill locals, who would often host elaborate dinner parties for friends. Hudson Jane’s menu culls together their personal narrative, overseen by Johnson, a seasoned chef with 20 years experience and most recently the long-time executive chef at Casellula.
“I’ve always thought of my food as American comfort food, but international more than southern because it’s all comfort food because we’re all here,” Johnson says. “Jen is Cuban and Sicilian, so I’ve been taught how to make sirloin and boiled yuca. Jen’s best friend is from Hong Kong and taught us how to make dumplings. My grandmother’s beef and noodles—she grew up on a farm in Iowa. She makes everything, but I love that she rolls her own noodles, and I do, too.”
Dishes are predominantly health-forward with high-quality ingredients, like gluten-free vegan oatmeal with oats, flax seeds and hemp milk; turmeric golden milk with oat milk; an egg sandwich with aged raw cow’s milk cheddar and farm-raised pork sausage; pastries from Bien Cuit; and a growing case of grab-and-go items like salads and pantry items.
One item not to miss: The Double Brown, a lunch sandwich featuring a BLT wedged between two hashbrown patties that the couple has an actual patented trademark on. And make sure to pick up an order of maple-soaked French toast sticks with fresh vanilla cream that’s world’s better than the stuff you remember as a kid.
Filling the gap for the early morning commuter crowd, the all-day café and wine bar opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday until 6 p.m.; dinner service is expected to roll out in September. Starting in fall, Hudson Jane will begin an annual subscription for their members-only monthly supper club, along with events like cooking classes and meet-the-maker nights with local producers.