Acclaimed Restaurant in The Woodlands Reopens With New Name and Menu
by Jim Robertson with Ellie Sharp
Hubbell & Hudson Bistro at 24 Waterway in The Woodlands served its last meal on Saturday, August 25 — then underwent a transformation and reopened September 6 as TRIS. According to executive chef Austin Simmons, TRIS represents a major update for the restaurant and is aimed to elevate the dining scene in Waterway Square.
Simmons explains that the name change is happening for several reasons, but mainly to eliminate confusion for guests since there were multiple concepts with Hubbell & Hudson in the name, such as Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen. The new name TRIS also eliminates connections to the former (and now closed) Hubbell & Hudson Market, too. The grocery store and cooking school closed several years ago. The fact that the restaurant retained the Hubbell & Hudson name misled some diners into thinking the restaurant was also closed.
TRIS reopened with almost every aspect of the former concept changed and includes an updated menu and a bar with new, elevated cocktail selections. Lunches are still going to be served in a casual atmosphere but the intention is to elevate dinner service to a more sophisticated and elegant experience. The gallery below shows several of the new dishes. (Click the arrows to move through the slideshow.)
Although the new restaurant has fewer seats, it is arranged to allow greater flexibility to meet guests’ seating and hosting needs. In addition to booths, the space can accommodate groups of up to 60 and several private rooms are also going to be available.
When it comes to the food, Simmons says the new menu reflects his past culinary experiences in countries like Japan, Singapore, France and Switzerland, time at Le Cordon Blue and work experience, at former restaurants such as John Tesar’s short-lived, eponymous restaurant in The Woodlands, Tesar’s and Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. In fact, he’s overhauled the former Hubbell & Hudson menu so completely that he has replaced virtually every dish. The lobster bisque and short ribs remain as does the Bistro Burger, which is available on the lunch and lounge menus. The result is a range of globally inspired dishes that incorporate the nuances of other cultures.
The cocktail program is also getting a facelift with a category Simmons calls “renovated classics.” Guests can look forward to fresh spins on cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Paloma. The revised bar menu includes dessert drinks, too, which guests can order from a roving drink cart. Dessert drinks include an Espresso Martini, Thin Mint Martini, and housemade limoncello and orange liqueur. There are also a number of chocolates and brittles for those seeking non-liquid desserts.
Tasting menu restaurant Cureight remains closed but is resuming its eight-course chef’s tasting dinner service later this month. Cureight serves diners in an intimate environment with a bird’s-eye-view of the main kitchen Thursdays through Saturdays. After reopening, the “CollaborEIGHT” dinner series in the fall is also showcasing the talents of other notable chefs, including Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi of Kata Robata, John Tesar of Knife in Dallas (who Simmons also used to work for in the former Tesar’s in The Woodlands) and pitmaster Will Buckman of Corkscrew BBQ.
Although the name and menu are different, Simmons hopes that guests recognize that TRIS is offering the same level of service and quality they were accustomed to at Hubbell & Hudson — albeit with a few new twists.
TRIS, 24 Waterway Ave #125, The Woodlands, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Special event hosting is available on Sundays and Mondays. Parking in the 24 Waterway Garage is free with ticket validation.