Logan Square has no shortage of amazing restaurants. It’s home to some of my favorites for brunch (Lula Cafe), drinks (Scofflaw), sweets (Bang Bang Pie) and now casual Italian. Full disclosure: Ugo’s reached out to bring me offering a free dinner. But my experience was pleasantly surprising for a restaurant I had never heard of.
Ugo’s opened back in October to fill a void in the area for a late-night spot for chefs that isn’t a greasy burrito chain. The full kitchen is open every night except Tuesday until 1:30 am. While the ambiance has a casual bar feel, the food is far from it.
Menu items at Ugo’s are seasonal and local in the best way. While you can get the housemade foccacia any time of year (and don’t miss it), you won’t always be able to find a salad topped with strawberries, hazelnuts and a green goddess-like dressing, along with an addictive creamy cheese on the side. If you’re in the neighborhood for a late night bite, or just in the mood for some indulgence, Ugo’s also has a huge selection of cured meats and cheeses. I was even pleasantly surprised by my cocktail, a blood orange daiquiri with just the right balance of sweet and tart.
One of the most unique dishes we tried was the pappardelle with meaty maitake mushrooms and fresh parmesan, served over a mushroom broth and fresh pesto. Use that leftover focaccia to soak up the sauce. The pasta was tender and perfectly cooked, while the sauce exuded a ton of unexpected flavor. Yes, Osteria Langhe across the street has a much wider selection of pastas, yet Ugo’s gives that same Italian flair at a more reasonable price.
If you want to continue carb-loading, don’t miss out on Ugo’s pizzas. We opted for the kale, maitake and spicy pickled cherry pepper pizza. I’m always dousing my slices with giardinera or red pepper flakes, so the peppers were the perfect touch. This crust was wonderfully crispy, and the toppings provided the perfect balance of flavors.
Last but certainly not least – don’t ever miss dessert at Ugo’s. While this course turned out to be a bit pricier than I anticipated compared to the rest of the menu, I understood why the minute our dishes arrived. Gelato is homemade, and the kitchen turns out a special flavor each day. We couldn’t get enough of the cappucino chip, which went perfectly with the deconstructed tiramisu. This was a totally different texture and presentation from your typical tiramisu, yet all the traditional flavors were there.
Not only is Ugo’s a great neighborhood spot, it’s one I would go to again. Wait staff was incredibly friendly and helpful as well as clearly passionate about the food they are serving – and it’s easy to see why.
Ugo’s Kitchen & Bar
2833 W. Armitage Ave.