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California Reno

Downhill alert for Reno/Sparks-- Hugo's

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Downhill alert for Reno/Sparks-- Hugo's

Steve Timko | Aug 7, 2004 01:20 PM

A few times I've listed Hugo's in Sparks as a possible destination for Chowhounders in the Reno area. I ate there for the first time in about 10 months last night and it's changed, so I'm retracting the recommendation. A good lesson I guess in recommending places that you don't eat at regularly.
Hugo's earned a recommendation from me because the chef was preparing wonderful and original food. For instance, he made a great version of Manhattan clam chowder that used the hot sauce you put in pho that you see in all the Vietnamese restaurants. It's menu generally tended to be Italian based. The restaurant is located in a country club and had few customers that I could see.
I went there last night and it's now only open for dinner Friday through Sunday (lunch every day) and the menu has chanced a lot. More munchies, less entrees. I didn't see the talented chef. The dinner salad turned out to be the highlight of the meal, with fresh greens and a few tasty olives. The breaded rosemary chicken over fettucine had some of the worst noodles I've had in a restaurant. The chicken was prepared better than it would be at a Carrow's or Denny's, but nothing to recommend to other Chowhounders. And it wasn't a good value either. $16 for the chicken, $5 for the dinner salad, no refill on the lemonade and no bread.
The wine list also changed. I don't know where they buy their wine now, but I had deja vu looking at the wine list. I was looking at wine at Costco a few days earlier and I could just about remember the exact position on the Costco shelves for much of the wine listed on the menu. The difference is the menu price is about three times the Costco price.
So Hugo's is off my list of recommendations for Chowhounders. I hope nobody went to the newer incarnation of the restaurant because of my advice.

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