In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell. I gave it a grade of two stars.
Is Hugo’s a casual oyster bar or upscale-ish seafood restaurant or both? The question is how successfully the two concepts can be integrated under one roof. Does the guy who wants to hang at the bar and scarf Gulf oysters by the dozen want a valet to park his car? Do the ladies meeting for a quiet dinner want to watch big-screen TVs while paying $24 for entrees?
Chef Jonathan Schwenk, who is co-owner with Rich Clark, said they weren’t trying to make Hugo’s into the Optimist, Miller Union or Empire State South. “We aren’t trying to be fancy.”
If Hugo’s stuck to that vision, it would do just fine. The restaurant succeeds as an oyster bar with a mixture of Gulf and boutique oysters, making it a destination. The waters are muddied by attempts to simultaneously go upscale — with untrained waiters and comparatively pricey entrees that don’t always justify the price.
As we move into oyster season, Hugo’s could really shine if it makes them its focus.
Subscribers can read the full review on myajc.com.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog