Checkerboards Restaurant & Bar wants customers to come in and stay awhile
By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Checkerboards Restaurant & Bar is striving to be known as more than just a great pizza place. In its 23 years, it has expanded twice, according to co-owner Chris Tsiros. It started with just 50 seats. About 15 years ago, they added a full bar and ten years ago, an entire new dining room to seat up to 200.
“A lot of people drive by because they don's realize we are a full-service restaurant with a full bar and extensive menu,” Tsiros said.
In the fall of 2013, they completed major renovations, including new booths and warm wood trim in the front dining room. A separate, smaller dining room has an Italian feel with warm gold walls accented with new artwork, painted murals and new lighting.
Checkerboards also features an open kitchen, so patrons can see everything being prepared and cooked.
Keeping the kitchen and dining rooms “very clean” is one of the three most important things that go into running a successful restaurant, according to Tsiros, in addition to “great food and great service.”
In addition to its pizza, with dough that is made fresh daily, Checkerboards offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner options with daily and seasonal specials.
For lunch, there are sandwiches and burgers, homemade soups and salads. Pizza are available in different sizes with about 25 different toppings. They also have calzones made to order and 12-inch flatbread pizzas.
Dinner entrees include a variety of pasta, such as penne a la vodka, lasagna, and tortellini with meat sauce. Prime rib is available on Saturday nights, or choose from sirloin steak, steak tips, barbecued baby back ribs, Greek specialties, or any of the day's specials. House favorites include homemade macaroni and cheese (served with chorizo or lobster), meatloaf, chicken Piccata, and veal Milano.
Seafood selections include baked haddock and scallops, blackened swordfish, crab cakes, sesame salmon, and fried seafood plates. The lobster seafood special is recommended, with scallops, shrimp and lobster served over linguine in a light cream sauce.
Entrees come with a large salad that includes pepperoncini, black olives, and red cabbage and onions, and a basket of warm bread.
“We are there at 6 a.m. preparing everything,” Tsiros said. “We do a lot of prep work because we use fresh, local ingredients.” He noted that Checkerboards uses only fresh seafood and meat, never frozen.
To cater to special diets, Checkerboards has low-carb and gluten-free options.
Checkerboards also has a popular bar seating area where customers can enjoy sports on several large-screen televisions. In addition to reasonably priced wines and beer, Checkerboards has a large selection of seasonal cocktails. Their “winter warmers” featured coffee with spirits topped with whipped cream. Winter martinis included chocotinis, eggnog martinis, and carameltinis.
But Tsiros is quick to point out that Checkerboards is a family friendly restaurant. Their children's menu includes eight choices for $4.95 to $7.95. Takeout is available, as is catering.
Checkerboards is located at 10 Technology Drive in Hudson, in the shopping center at the intersection of Route 85 and the connector to I-290. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 978-562-4400 or visit the website, www.checkerboardsrestaurant.com.
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