One of the OGs of the Gold Coast’s dining scene, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House is celebrating a particularly commemorative occasion with its 20th anniversary this month. Throwing it back to their opening day in 1997, the steak and seafood hotspot is toasting with a menu inspired by its inaugural year, cake, bubbly and more.
A lot has happened at Hugo’s over the years. The restaurant quickly became a local favorite, spawning three additional locations and raking in over $14 million in sales a year. In 2016, the restaurant served more than 200,000 meals, earning it a spot as one of the 100 Top Grossing Independent Restaurants in America. The esteemed restaurant got even better with its recent appointment of executive chef Russell Kook, an alum of such spots as Chicago Cut and The Florentine.
20 years after Steve Lombardo and Hugo Ralli followed up Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse with Hugo’s, the boisterous sister spot is celebrating with a week-long spree of festivities and specials starting February 22. To kick things off, the restaurant will feature an anniversary party from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with passed hors d’oeuvres, glasses of bubbly and birthday cake. Lombardo and Ralli will be in attendance to cut the first slice. The event is free to attend and open to the public. RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subsequently, Hugo’s will feature a throwback “Then & Now” menu from February 22 through March 1, highlighting some of the restaurant’s most classic dishes and even specially priced to reflect 1997 menus. This will include mussels, frog legs, jumbo lump crab cakes, key lime pie and glasses of Far Niente Napa Chardonnay. As a nice modern juxtaposition, specials for the occasion will also include some brand new creations from Kook, like scallops with cauliflower puree and beet vinaigrette, grilled Spanish octopus and togarashi-crusted tuna steak.
Happy anniversary to a true Chicago classic — here’s to 20 more!