Former PizzaExpress execs launch Hugos Mediterranean restaurant

07 November 2011 by
Former PizzaExpress execs launch Hugos Mediterranean restaurant

Two former PizzaExpress executives have launched a new Mediterranean restaurant in Surrey.

Leo Alexander and Antonio Romani opened Mediterranean restaurant Hugo's in Egham last week, together with sommelier Ray Ronchetti.

Inspired by the 1950s West End Italian restaurant of the same name, Hugo's is a 70-seat bar and restaurant offering an all-day menu of Mediterranean flavours.

The kitchen is being overseen by head chef Romani, who previously owned and ran Italian restaurant Cornucopia in Soho in the 1990s and spent 15 years working as executive development chef at PizzaExpress.

The menu offers starters such as a deli platter and bruschetta as well as main courses including venison sausages in rich red wine sauce and spring onion mash or raviolini with porcini, butter and fresh sage and thyme. Prices range from £13-£25 for a main course, with the wine list offering choices from £17-£45.

Iran-born Alexander came to the UK aged 16 and by 17 owned his first pizzeria, Darios in Leeds, which he grew to a chain of 15. He later bought and ran the Cream nightclub in Leeds before joining PizzaExpress in 2000 as a business development manager.

He joined Kettners in 2002, overseeing its refurbishment and relaunch, and also co-owns two restaurants in Spain and a nightclub in Prague.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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