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Shaho

Chez Hugo Bistro, Chef Steve Monnier's Seasonal French Bistro in Downtown Baltimore

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Chef Monnier comes from the late Arômes, and his latest venture brings his take on seasonal French bistro fare to the heart of Baltimore. I'm mostly a skeptic of Restaurant Week, but the dinner I had here last week was a tantalizing taste of what Chez Hugo offers.

I started with a refreshing tomato gazpacho which was the right balance of sweet and tart, and paired nicely with a very good order of gougères. Next was a lamb murguez sausage, which was fantastic - tender, juicy, and spicy, with that unmistakable lamb flavor. This came on a bed of couscous with parsley, golden raisins, and a harissa yogurt sauce, unadventurous but a good complement to the sausage. Dessert was a poached peach on a sweet biscuit with vanilla ice cream which was just OK. 

Tastes of my companions dishes were mixed as well. The escargot appetizer and monkfish entree were very fresh, but a little too clean-tasting and could have used more aggressive seasoning. The steak frites and accompanying green peppercorn sauce were perfect, however. Overall, for a Restaurant Week meal I thought Chez Hugo did a good job of balancing a creative and affordable menu, and there were enough strong components that I'd like to come back to try them at their best.  

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