Hugo’s Restaurant, Portland, ME., 11/30/19


Hugo’s opened in 1988 and had a major rennovation in 2012.  There are booths along a brick wall, a couple tables by the windows to the street and lots of seats at a curved counter that wraps around the open kitchen.  The lights are quite low (spots highlight each table and the bar) with lots of wood and dark leather upholstery make up the interior.  The tin ceiling, music in the background and decorations made of local organic material finish out the stylish and striking design of the interior.  In fact they strived to make all the interior from materials found in Maine.   The red bricks are from Moose Head Lake, the slate plates from Monson, and a huge painting at the end of the room is by local artist Eric Hopkins. They offer an a la carte menu and also a chef’s tasting of about 10 courses.  The tasting offers items not on the menu and the whole table must participate.  For the tasting they have wine pairings available.  We chose the tasting but ordered our own wine after a cocktail and they did give me a list of what we had after the meal. Continue reading

Hugo’s, Houston, 11/22/17


Hugo’s is a large Mexican restaurant with tons of seating at tables as well as bar seating and party rooms.  They have a huge wine list and you can see the bottles displayed in the cabinets showing on the second floor balcony.  There are actually a number of wines from Mexico on the list.  Staff is friendly and directive in your ordering.  They make a lot of variations of margaritas which are put in a shaker and shaken and poured tableside.   Unfortunately our waitress was not skilled on filtering the ice coming out of the shaker and so my glass was filled with so much ice there was no way not to get your nose wet when drinking.  It also meant some of the drink got passed back to the bar and diluted the mixture an unpleasant amount.  At the price of these drinks I would steer you to wine or beer.  The menu at lunch offers the appetizer plates at 2 for $22 which is a good deal as they range from $10 to $15.  Also, they don’t serve chips and salsa so you might want something to snack on before the plates arrive.   Continue reading