Sunday, July 10, 2011

Paleo Restaurant Review: Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House

It took a few years, but I finally took Stacey out to Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House.

A few years ago, I don't even remember why, I agreed to take Stacey out to Hugo's Frog Bar for dinner.  She must have spotted me for dinner or something, but I promised dinner at Hugo's once I found a job...okay, once I got my first paycheck from a job.  I've been in and out of part-time jobs the past few years, but am now finally gainfully employed and Hugo's was the first treat on the list.

Not only a great restaurant to celebrate something, Hugo's is a great restaurant for a couple paleo dieters to celebrate something.  Not only do they offer a host of deliciously fresh seafood, but because it shares a kitchen with Gibson's Steakhouse, you can also order anything off the Gibson's menu as well.  Translation:  surf & turf headquarters.  Before I get into what we ordered, I have to point out that this is most likely a spot to head to for special occasions because it is very pricey.  The service and food are top notch, so it's a safe bet for a celebration if you're willing to burn a little cash.

Appetizers:  We were told that the escargot here are amazing, but I was a little more curious about the Frog's Legs, so we ordered those.  The frog's legs were seasoned and sauteed, and came in little pairs.  Both legs still attached to each other.  As expected they tasted a bit like chicken, but Stacey pointed out they are sort of in between chicken and fish.  I agree with that assessment, but would lean much closer to the chicken side than the fish side.  It felt as if they might possibly be a little breaded, but I didn't feel congested after the meal, so if there was it was minimal.

Soup or Salad (included with purchase of entree):  We both ordered the Lobster Bisque.  Delicious, creamy and served with a giant spoon, it was difficult not to eat the bowl of soup too fast.  We both had to force ourselves to set the spoon down in between bites so we could enjoy it longer.

Entrees:  Stacey ordered the Baked Cod which comes topped with king crab meat.  I'm inclined to think that anything topped with crab is going to be good, but this was great.  I know because the portions are so large, Stacey asked me to finish it.  Bonus!  I ordered the Grilled Copper River Salmon, which our server told us was fresh caught and only available one week out of the year.  Now I like salmon as much as the next guy, but this was the best salmon I've ever had.  It was seared perfectly and put to rest on a bed of grilled asparagus.

Dessert:  Now that we're paleo, we don't eat as many desserts when dining out, but since we were celebrating we figured what the heck.  Dessert included a little debate.  The first time I'd come here I had the key lime pie because I'm a fiend for a good key lime pie.  The key lime pie at Hugo's is not like any other you'll ever see because it's hidden under an obscene 7-8 inch high meringue.  So much meringue that you'll  have to knock most of it off.  Like I said, I'm a huge fan of key lime pies, so I loved it, while the others simply just enjoyed it.  Our debate was whether to order the key lime pie or the creme brulee, which was also recommended to us by a friend.  The deciding factor was gluten.  Creme brulee is gluten free, and key lime pie isn't (unless you make your own).  Our portion of creme brulee was also obscene.  I'm sure it could satisfy a table of 4-5 easily, so it was no surprise that our stomachs were rumbling and bloated the entire walk home after we finished the entire thing.  Another example of what we consider the perfect cheat dessert.  Gluten free to remove some of the guilt, and tasty enough to where you won't regret it.

Drink:  Splurging we ordered one of their cheaper bottles of pinot noir, which was smooth and paired well with everything we ordered.  Concannon '09.

Price:  Using a $25 off coupon from, the total bill came out to just over $100.  Way too much for a regular night out, but for a special occasion it could definitely be a lot worse.

Assessment:  we stayed mostly paleo, left stuffed, and supremely satisfied.  We highly recommend Hugo's Frog Bar to anyone who's willing to spend the money.  It's definitely a treat.

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