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Hugo’s Oyster Bar restaurant review, Roswell

Chargrilled oysters at Hugo's (credit: Becky Stein)

Chargrilled oysters at Hugo's (credit: Becky Stein)

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

14 comments Add your comment

Finn McCool

August 29th, 2013
10:21 am

Something you don’t see in Atlanta is restaurants where you can order a bucket of oysters and shuck them yourself. My wife and I used to enjoy doing that at several locations in Charlotte.

Art

August 29th, 2013
10:56 am

I’m always excited when a new seafood place opens in the area because there just seems to be a dearth of them. I guess living at the coast for a number of years spoiled me. Hugo’s website states, “Hugo’s aims to be affordable, casual, and above all, fun.” Judging by the white tablecloths and the hefty prices on their menu, let’s hope they get the fun part right.

donkey200

August 29th, 2013
11:30 am

Having to pay for a crummy review is for the dogs. I hate this new AJC format!

Approved or Not Approved

August 29th, 2013
2:04 pm

Been to this restaurant and have sent many more people to this restaurant. Its obvious that the AJC Food Blogger knows as much about food as Michael Carvell knows about football, which is nothing.

Art

August 29th, 2013
6:04 pm

Approved or Not Approved, care to share what you like about this place? I’m always looking for good seafood at reasonable prices in a fun atmosphere; it’s just that 6 jumbo fried shrimp for $18 seems on the high side.

Approved or Not Approved

August 29th, 2013
11:06 pm

Art, apparently your looking for Red Lobster. Take a right on Mansell and go down about 2 miles.

Robert Bagels

August 30th, 2013
8:06 am

I went there for a Early Dinner one night.. We were seated.. and we were really excited to try some of the oyster items. Then the waiter did not even look at us and told us he had bad news that they were out of oysters…OUT OF OYSTERS…. A Oyster Bar out of oysters… after the apology we tipped for the water and left. as we were leaving. The MOD had a comment.. “They are leaving because we are out of oysters?” in a very rude tone. It does say Oyster Bar on the Building. Think about it.

Baltisraul......

August 30th, 2013
8:33 am

Robert Bagels……Early dinner and out of oysters. You were not the only one to leave that evening is my guess.

Baltisraul......

August 30th, 2013
8:42 am

Art…….I have been buying jumbo(head on) shrimp at a roadside stand for 2 1/2 years for $13.00 for 3 lbs. He is there every 10 days and he and his brother catch them from their own shrimp boat in the Big Bend. They are always 24 to 36 hrs fresh. When you combine the heads w/ the shells you really get a great seafood broth as a side benefit.

Art

August 30th, 2013
9:59 am

Thanks Balt! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Care to draw me a map?

Baltisraul......

August 30th, 2013
11:38 am

Sorry Art, that would only lead to revealing my favorite bass site, where 10lbs’ers and above must be catch and release. But the 2 7 lbs’ers I caught this month were great eating. I will tell you the lake has a Z in its name, inside a city limit, and was drained a few years ago to dry out the muck. Damn, now I will have company! Me and my big mouth!
The shrimp go fast at that price, so for now the ans is no. Sorry!

Robert

August 30th, 2013
12:55 pm

Ha! I know EXACTLY where that is! I’m telling everybody I know….not really. I haven’t a clue. I’d keep it a secret too.

Art

August 30th, 2013
5:43 pm

Balt, thanks for the clues. I think I know where your site is and I think you’re safe…. Enjoy those shrimp!

Baltisraul......

August 30th, 2013
6:22 pm

Yea Art, I think I am safe also, even with those good clues.