At his new Hudson spot One Red Door, Shawn Monday marries familiar comfort fare with a gourmet stroke. The result is dishes instantly recognizable in name (like pierogies) but with added touches that make them more than run-of-the-mill (filled with roasted mushrooms and leeks). “It’s not white tablecloth; it’s casual,” Monday says. “The atmosphere means having fun dishes like that. It has to be approachable, but we want to make it gourmet.”
Why Go Casual: “I’ve been to a lot of these unbelievable restaurants, and I take away from it that it’s not really a restaurant; it’s more of an experience,” Monday says. “We want to be approachable and just have fun with it. It’s easy for me to write the dishes in an environment like this. I look at every dish and say, ‘I want to eat that.’ ”
McTwist: To be truly approachable, food must be recognizable. So Monday starts with a dish you’ll find in most fast food joints: chicken nuggets. To give it a finer flavor, he subs duck confit for chicken. Forget ketchup or mustard. Monday pairs his crispy nuggets with curry aioli and preserved lemon.
Fair Treatment: Expect ingredients to be prepped just as they would at a white-tablecloth spot. Monday slowly cooks the duck in its own fat for four hours, which gives the meat of his nuggets an extra layer of flavor. “Confiting is something that came about from people preserving their meats. It’s almost like a poor man’s food,” Monday says. “It’s one of those traits you learn in fine dining, so why not still do it?”
Tiny Touches: “We can’t afford flown in truffles from France and Italy,” says Monday, explaining how he can work in high-end ingredients while still keeping the price down. “We use truffle pate that still has great flavor.” He’s also strategic about deploying the truffle flavor. You’ll see truffles hiding in the aioli that comes with the thrice-fried pomme frites or in truffle honey dressing on salad.
Dressed Down: “The typical warm spinach salad has poached eggs on it, so we wanted to play on that,” Monday says. “And I love an egg that runs over the salad and almost adds to the dressing.” His version of the fancy dish with double applewood smoked bacon, crispy mushrooms and truffle honey dressing gets a casual topper from a soft poached egg that’s been breaded and fried.
49 Village Way, Hudson, 330-342-3667, onereddoorhudson.com