Last September, we attended a press conference for the SugarHouse Casino expansion. As foodies, the most exciting part of the expansion announcement was their plan to add more dining options.
When we learned that one of the new restaurants was going to be high-end steakhouse Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, a Chicago-based restaurant from Gibson’s Restaurant Group, we couldn’t help but get fired-up.
Immediately after the press conference, members of the media were treated to a preview of Hugo’s menu. Everything was really good to outstanding; everybody agreed that Hugo’s would be a welcome addition to Philadelphia.
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House finally opened this summer after the expansion had been completed. We checked it out a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t have been more pleased!
PROTIP: When you go to SugarHouse Casino, take advantage of the free valet parking. Just make sure you have some cash for tips, okay?
When we arrived at 7PM on Friday night, there were plenty of seats available. We grabbed a booth at the back of the restaurant close to the patio. Within a few minutes were cordially greeted by our server Sid Soloff. His enthusiastic welcome and introduction really made us feel at ease. After giving us the Hugo’s initiation, he explained that he had extensive restaurant experience locally and in Atlantic City. We felt we were in very good hands and in for a treat!
Hugo’s offers a nice big menu with all the requisite steakhouse favorites — fancy appetizers (yes, including frog legs!), soups & salads, steaks & chops, fresh fish and seafood, sides, and “local favorites” – burgers, sandwiches, and smaller plates.
On the drink side, there’s several traditional and clever cocktails, a significant wine list by the glass or bottle, and select draft and bottled beers — both domestic and imported.
They started us off with fresh, seedy bread. Perfectly hearty with a crunchy exterior and chewy interior. It was difficult to stop after a few bites! But I knew I had to.
Cocktail time! On the left, the “Lilly Pad”: Lillet, Grapefruit, Sugar, and Prosecco. On the right, “Eladelph”: Grey Goose, Prosecco, St. Germain, Grapefruit and simple syrup.
Nothing beats swanky cocktails that are easy to drink, eh? 😉
First Course: Oysters on the Half Shell. Aren’t oysters lovely? Perfectly briny morsels, they are.
Second Course #1: Hugo’s Chopped Garbage Salad. You’ll definitely want to eat this garbage!
Second Course: #2: Crabmeat Avocado with Caper Remoulade. Not to be gross, but the halved avocado looked like a frog on top. It was delicious. 😋
Second Course #3: Sweet Chili Fried Calamari. Yum!
Interlude: Server Extraordinaire Sid Soloff presenting Gibson’s BEEF.
They are the only restaurant in the country to have their own Prime USDA certification for beef. Gibson’s Prime Black Angus beef is raised on sustainable farms in the Upper Midwest, corn fed for 120 days and aged for 40 days, providing maximum flavor and tenderness.
Cocktail #3: Olde City Fashioned. As a personal rule, if I’m at a steakhouse, I’m going to order an old-fashioned or some sort of whiskey drink. This hit all the right notes.
Main Course #1: Chilean Sea Bass with Asian Slaw. The fish was flawlessly flaky. While it added texture, the slaw didn’t blow me away. I was searching for umami on this plate, but did not find it. It needed it. Otherwise, it was a good dish.
Main Course #2: “W.R.’s Chicago Cut” 22 oz. Ribeye Steak! Hubby had to get the top steak on the menu of course! 😀
If you’re steak aficionado, you’ll probably love the Chicago-Cut. If this indicative of their entire steak line-up, I’d be inclined to say you will not be disappointed with any steak you order on the menu.
Just for the SugarHouse location, they have a steak on the menu called the “Philly Cut” with caramelized onions and blue cheese on top; we tried that at the preview and recall it being very tasty.
Hubby was beyond fulfilled with the “Chicago Cut” and noted it was cooked perfectly to his desire temperature (medium-rare).
Side #1: Double Baked Loaded Potato. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but this potato was HUGE! Blanketed with a vibrant and creamy yellow cheddar cheese and green onions. Scrumptious.
Side #2: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. As if we hadn’t already gone over the top here. Simply perfect; this offered the umami I was looking for in the Sea Bass dish. Yay!
By this point, we were beyond done and felt we couldn’t possibly eat another bite. The dishes we had were damn near perfect; drinks were wonderful. Service was TOP NOTCH! We really felt like we had received an exceptional steakhouse experience.
But they weren’t going to let us be done, oh no! They brought out the largest piece of cake I’ve ever seen in my life. They call it the “Meaning of Life” cake. 😅
This dessert is bigger than your head as it stands nearly 12″ tall! We could only take two bites each but it was amazing. This is definitely a cake you’ll want to share with several people or have cake for days at home. LOL! 😲
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House is a noteworthy addition to steakhouse landscape here in Philadelphia. It is worth your while to go and indulge in a conventional steakhouse experience in an unconventional space. Just don’t go anywhere near the casino floor if you don’t gamble. You can easily get in and out if casinos aren’t your thing.
The expansion includes a large event space. So perhaps you’ll be able to catch some live entertainment and have dinner before hand. There’s now certainly more to go other than gambling at SugarHouse – so check it out!
Tell them Philly Grub sent ya!
The Doyenne of Dining in Philadelphia and South Jersey.