Dallas restauranteur Hugo Miranda opened up Hugo’s Invitados almost a year ago in Irving. The healthy twist on a Mexican food establishment, Miranda’s concept has become a go-to dining destination. So much so that it’ll be opening a new flagship restaurant at Uptown’s McKinney & Olive tower in early 2020.
Hugo’s initially came about in 2018 when Miranda, who has worked in the restaurant business for 20 years (most recently at Meso Maya), decided he wanted to open his own space. He’s partnering with Mark Hulme, managing member of Five Points Holdings, and will have his current Hugo’s chef Natalio Charles as the head of the kitchen at the new flagship.
Growing up in Mexico, Miranda used to go to the market every day with his mother to buy fresh produce, meats and tortillas for dinner.
“I’m going back to my roots of natural eating,” Miranda tells PaperCity. “We’re following the healthy, organic and fresh trend.”
And Miranda really means it. All meats are clean, grass fed and even Hugo’s pork is all natural. Drinks are made with fresh squeezed fruits, like oranges, lemons and limes. And if they can’t make a flavor fresh, they just don’t make it. The traditional house margarita is made 100 percent organic with dulce vida organic tequila, orange liqueur and agave .
A few of the other popular, health conscious items on the menu include the Mexican Avocado Toast with a corn masa patty, salsa roja botanera, avocado and queso fresco. The Pork Belly Chicharron is a seared berkshire pork belly with tomatillo de milpa sauce and crema oaxaquena. There’s also a green soup called Mexican Avocado Gazpacho with shrimp and jumbo lump crab meat.
And besides tacos and enchiladas, Hugo’s serves bowls with quinoa and rice, and plenty of protein options if you want to add on. There are also several vegan and vegetarian options including Impossible Tacos, which are corn tortillas with plant-based meat, watercress, tomato, onion and avocado-serrano sauce.
Hugo also has a whole fish on the menu — head, tail and all — because he remembers his mother serving his father this meal in Mexico when he was a boy. Hugo’s Invitados translates to Hugo’s guests and he really wants to make diners feel at home.
Chef Natalio Charles, who was once Chef de Cuisine at Meso Maya and the executive chef at José, will be at the helm of the new Hugo’s Uptown as well. Also from Mexico, he came to Dallas in 1997 and started out at the now closed Sambuca in Addison. According to Miranda, Charles’ fine dining background makes his presentation and attention to detail impeccable.
Inside the New Hugo’s
On top of that, Miranda is opening a new, unnamed street taco concept next door. It’ll be grab- and-go and feature four to five proteins. Keeping in line with the clean meat initiative, it’ll also serve grass-fed beef, all-natural pork and homemade tortillas.
As for McKinney & Olive, Miranda believes the complex was looking for something fresh and unique to add on as its eighth restaurant. Opened just three years ago, the building was designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Cesar Pelli, who passed away just this summer.
It currently houses Mixt, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Starbucks Reserve, Malibu Poke, Roti Modern Mediterranean and Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. When Hugo’s Invitados opens next year, the building will be at 100 percent occupancy in retail leasing.
The new Uptown location of Hugo’s will have two levels, including a private banquet room and a rooftop patio overlooking Cedar Springs Road and Olive Street.
“The upscale dishes will be the main attraction,” says Charles, but the 11,000 square foot space in the incredibly unique McKinney & Olive building will be an attraction as well.
Miranda says that the decor and vibe will be similar to the Irving location.
“We’re going to keep the DNA and look,” Miranda says. “The green colors, trees and fresh fruit” that hang in baskets on the walls by the open concept kitchen. “But there will be some surprises with the bar look.”