Ugo’s: Casual Vibe, Remarkable Italian Flavors

Neighborhood: Logan Square

Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★★

Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★

Affordability: ★★★1/2

Ambience: ★★★

Service: ★★★★★

 Food Quality: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★1/2

Menu:

  • Small Plates: Fried Eggplant, Rosemary Focaccia
  • Entrees: Mushroom Carbonara, Squash Pizza

Ugo’s Kitchen and Bar, an Italian neighborhood gem of Logan Square is set to close its doors to the public on Sunday, March 18th after being open for 2.5 years. Ugo’s is located on 2833 W. Armitage Avenue and is a cozy, casual Italian spot serving delicious, yet affordable Italian fare.  It’s often overlooked by Osteria Langhe across the street.  And while Osteria Langhe is quite delicious, it is also quite expensive so Ugo’s is more of the down to earth, neighborhood Italian spot where you don’t have to pay an extravagant amount of money to have a delicious meal.

As you walk in, you are greeted by a mannequin in the window not knowing that it is in fact a mannequin (it seems like a person staring at you from the window).  It was pretty relaxed and chill for a Friday night, which was great because we didn’t have to wait for a table and were seated right away around 9pm.

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Fried Eggplant

I started my meal with a delicious glass of Italian red wine and a couple of small plates with the entrees.  We started out with the fried eggplant.  They were pretty much eggplant fries – long, crispy, and well-salted.  The breading had an excellent crunch to it and tasted perfectly with the zesty tomato jam on the side.  I do like savory flavors more so I wasn’t too into the sweetness of the jam, but it was a nice complement to the savory eggplant.

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Rosemary Focaccia

If you are unsure of what to order, order the house-made focaccia!  It was phenomenal.  The bread was soft, warm, moist, and had a potent rosemary flavor.  It was served with a mouth-watering sea-salt butter.  I could not get enough of it.

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Mushroom Carbonara

I really wanted to try their pastas as I heard they were delicious.  They have two pasta options and both have meat in them, but they were really flexible with taking out the meat and actually adding in more vegetables.  We had the Carbonara without the pancetta and instead had oyster and maitake mushrooms.  I was quite impressed because they did not merely subtract the pancetta, they added in delicious, high-quality, gourmet mushrooms, which provided an excellent texture to the soft noodles and sauce.  The sauce was creamy, but not too overly creamy with a light thyme and pepper seasoning.  The seasoning was subtle but it was not boring because of the prominent mushroom flavor.

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Squash Pizza

Ugo’s is also known for their Neopolitan style pizza, so we also tried the Squash pizza, which had butternut squash, goat cheese, and brussels sprouts.  The brussels sprouts were generously sprinkled all over the pizza making it the prominent flavor.  It was crispy and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette, which paired so well with the soft goat cheese.  The crust was decent as it was not super heavy and chewy.

Our server was warm, easygoing, and really wonderful about the substitutions.  It’s relatively affordable ($15, 16 per entree) for the Logan Square area, extremely delicious, and not insanely crowded!  I hope to come back here again and try more of their food before they close.  If you aren’t able to come here before they close on March 18th, stay tuned for Executive Chef, Stephen Hasson’s next culinary adventure!

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