An Evening with Friends - Dutch's & Restaurant Week at Hugo's!

Our good friends invited us out to dinner as a thank you for being the best kitty sitters in the world (I'm a little biased). We decided to go out for Restaurant Week! If you're not familiar - it's a week where restaurants offer special deals on a limited menu. This year it was $26.11 per person and you were typically having 3 courses with 1-3 options per course.

But before we headed out for our delicious dinner, we stopped at Dutch's Wine Bar in East Hyde Park.

It's been there for quite a while as a place to purchase beer/wine but recently added on to include a wine bar and patio!

They have quite a selection of beers and wines - they always have new things on tap as well. If you're a fan of either - it's a good stop. Most everybody was heading out to the patio because it was a beautiful 50 degree evening!

Larry went to the bathroom and had to take a picture because it was so unique. I have to say - it was definitely picture worthy! Pretty hip for a urinal! haha

Dutch's Bar & Bottle Shop on Urbanspoon

After Dutch's, we made the short trip over to Hugo in Oakley. I went to Hugo's once for Restaurant Week a few years ago but haven't been back - so I was very excited.

Rob decided he had to get some of their fritters (Sweet Corn, Mascarpone, Thyme, Chili Jam $8). Larry couldn't eat them because they did have eggs - but the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed them. I wasn't a big fan of the jam but they were very tasty with the butter. They had a nice sugar coating on the outside as well. They're definitely not what I was expecting - almost like a donut texture.

We also were brought out fresh bread - delicious. I have to say - this experience was definitely better than the last time. They used to only allow the Restaurant Week diners to eat in the bar area - now - you can sit in with the regular folks. RW has been much more widely adopted so I'm not surprised to see this happen. It's really a great chance to try someplace you might not regularly go at a more affordable price.

We all chose the Fried Green Tomatoes for the First Course (Confit Tomato, Buttermilk, Crab $9 - prices listed are regular menu price - not what we paid or portion size for Restaurant Week). I have often heard about these but never tried them.

We also all got the Hugo salad (New Potato, Local Greens, Goat Cheese, Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Smoked Pommery Vinaigrette $8) - great minds were thinking alike - for the Second Course. This is a very interesting salad - there was hardly any goat cheese (boo!) and the potatoes were an interesting ingredient. But all in all - I did like it.

Larry finally bucked the trend and got something different! For the Third Course he chose the fresh fish ($25) and it was salmon. He definitely enjoyed it - I'm guessing the portion size is a bit smaller than a regular menu portion - but with the bread & 3 courses - he was full enough. 

The rest of us went for the Hugo specialty of Shrimp & Grits (Grits, White Cheddar, Tasso Ham, Herbs, Demi $26). Wow is all I can say. I don't really like grits - of course the only grits I'd had were at Waffle House. These were delicious! I mean - they are gritty - but the cheddar definitely made them delicious. The shrimp was so large and flavorful. It was decadent! I'd be hard-pressed to try anything else when I return!

Now although we were all full and happy - our fantastic waiter came back and asked us about dessert. There were two items that jumped out at us. First Rob & Sarah got the peanut butter pie - we snagged a bite and it was delicious. For Larry - it was egg-free! That's a homemade marshmallow on the side too.

I was stopped instantly on the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding...holy moly I had to get that! It was really great - moist, warm and rich. The ice cream added a great creaminess to the dessert. It was really delicious.

I also want to add - our server was fantastic. We mentioned Larry's egg allergy and he immediately went back and checked with the Chef. He came back and let us know that 99% of the Restaurant Week menu was egg-free! His excellent service was definitely appreciated.

Why Should You Go? Hugo was a really great experience. It's a very cozy and pretty restaurant on the inside. It has a warmth about it in the ambiance and the food. I loved it and would definitely go back for a special occasion.

Hugo on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm glad to hear that you had a good experience. I purchased a groupon to Hugo, so am looking forward to going. I have heard mixed reviews. It doesn't look like you get alot of shrimp and grits for the price though. Glad you liked it though! And that choc bread pudding looks divine!

  2. Desi - remember - I was there for the Restaurant Week menu - my entire 3 courses was only $26. The regular price on the shrimp & grits is $25 - so you likely get a larger portion when you get the regular price option from the menu!

  3. Hugo's Shrimp & Grits looks very delightful. I admire how they present it.

    NYC Catering

  4. The food presentation is excellently done. Dutch cuisines at nyc catering also seems yummy just by the looks.