On Saturday night we decided to spend a fair amount of money for dinner. Deciding to put my money where my mouth is, we picked Hugo's Well, first of al, we succeeded in spending a lot of money. With tax and tip and one drink, we hit a cool three figures. What did we get for that amount of money? Did we validate my constant call?
Well, we surely got great service even if they treated us as first timers. Hugo's maintains an extraordinary waiter to table ratio. This leaves each waiter very focused on you. You will be taken care of as soon as you need to be taken care of or sometimes even before you think you need to be taken care of. Of course, some may think this is simply being rushed, but I believe it is possible to simply slow them down or go at a slower pace. That high attention to your needs really enhances the meal. If the waiters falter, there are a bunch of managers, in suits, wandering the floor like a bunch of pit bosses. No fork stays on the floor too long.
They push the seafood. Soon after sitting down, in an alternative to the morton/gibson's meat display, they bring a fish display. This is not necessarily good marketing. I mean it would work if they brought by sparklingly fresh, whole species with bloody red gills and ultra-clear eyes, but dragging an oxidized slab of fish meat to each table, what does that prove. I mean no one wants the fish they show. Still, the menu descriptions sounded good.
I was spoiling Ms. VI and I went along with two fish dishes, forsaking the lake perch deal I really wanted. For newcomers to Hugo's, I would highly advise on the perch. Instead, we got the giant slab o'tuna and a black grouper with wild mushrooms. On the side we ordered a big helping of greenbeans and to start, the crabcake appetizer with the hot pink mayo. Everything worked with its minimal garnish. When you offer high quality stuff, why muck it up anyway with sauces. The primo dish, as always was the crab cake. I know of no better version outside of Baltimore. Ms. VI's on an anti-carb thing, and she initially shied away from the cakes. No worry, barely any bread-related product in these crab cakes. The tuna came purely rare with just the right skin of crust. With the wasabi and soy sauce offered, it was like slicing your own sushi. The other fish had a very grandma like coating of paprika type spices, but underneath was perfectly done grilled fish. The greenbeans straddled expertly the line between trendy under-done and old fashioned mushiness.
We skipped any mondo desserts, but they are fun if you have a few more people.
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