Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Hugo’s is continuing its tradition of offering two-for-one tasting menus ($45 per person) this winter. But if you want to take advantage of the deal, better find time to go in the next six weeks or so.
Why? The rumors of renovations at this Portland culinary institution are apparently true.
Chefs Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor and general manager Arlin Smith announced in their newsletter today that the restaurant will be closing in late February to begin “a grand transformation.”
The renovations, they said, “will introduce a luxurious, sprawling tasting bar, overlooking an open kitchen.”
Plush leather booths are also part of the plan.
The owners say the restaurant will re-open sometime in the spring. In restaurant language, that usually means "April or May, unless the contractor is behind and then we mean late June or July."
In other news, Hugo’s will be hosting Bodega Ruca Malen of Mendoza, Argentina on Jan. 22 for a six-course tasting dinner that pairs Hugo’s food with wines from the Andean foothills. The winemaker will be there to talk about the wines and answer questions.
The dinner costs $100 per person, and here’s the menu:
Yauquen Torrontés, Salta, Argentina, 2011
Nori-Wrapped Albacore Tuna
kumquat . sweet potato . bok choy
Casco Bay Uni
pumpkin dashi . grilled tamago . radish
Yauquen Chardonnay, Mendoza. Argentina, 2009
From the Root Cellar
lardo . root vegetables . crispy quinoa granola
Yauquen Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 2009
Cavendish Quail Cassoulet
maple baked beans . bacon . foie gras
Ruca Malen Malbec Reserva Mendoza, Argentina, 2010
Northstar Farm’s Lamb
hashbrown . fennel . mustard
Yauquen Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 2009
Dulce de Leche
chocolate pudding cake . chili . blood orange
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod