My friend Carolyn and I finally celebrated Christmas last week! The place we chose for dinner was Hugo, the upscale restaurant in Oakley, that bills itself as sophisticated Southern cooking. Since Carolyn is a unique and orginal caterer, and I love food in most of all its manifestations, we wanted to try it out.
Hugo is located in what used to be Pho Paris, which moved to Covington and is now out of business. That dining room always seemed cold and not very welcoming to me – too full of how important it was, it felt to me.
Hugo felt a bit upscale and a bit formal, but overall comfortable, welcoming, easy. It is indeed Southern cooking, as can be seen from the menu – some fried food, but not over the top. But sides included turnips, grits and other regional possibilities. And many kinds of meat. There were two vegetarian appetizers – fried tomatoes and corn fritters – so Carolyn and I had both of them. The service, presentation – and the food itself! – were just excellent. A great salad perfectly dressed followed. Carolyn chose a pork entree. I picked a couple of sides I liked, on the server’s advice. She passed those on to the chef, who created my very own entree with those ingredients and others of his own choice. Exquisite – and it included the turnips.
We had, of course, to have dessert. All in the interest of research. I picked the fried bread pudding because I just couldn’t imagine what that might be. It was as addictive as we suspected. The other dessert was scrumptious, and included cranberries, but I cannot remember what it was called.
A high-end evening, and quite wonderful. As were the presents we exchanged, thus ending the 2008 Christmas season. Hugo’s was a great way to do that.