Owner/chef Hugo Ortega has become a Houston legend alongside wife and restaurateur Tracy Vaught—who also operates Prego, Trevisio and Backstreet Cafe—and longtime sommelier, Sean Beck. It’s not just Houstonians who recognizes the talent, as Ortega has been a James Beard Best Chef: Southwest semifinalist six times since 2012. Vaught and Beck have each made it to the semifinals themselves once (and that won’t likely be the last times). The Hugo's team established the interior Mexican restaurant as one of the finest restaurants in the city and set the bar for modern Mexican food across the country with their success. The restaurant originally opened in Montrose in 2002, introducing succulent, slow-roasted lamb barbacoa, rich and fragrant mole poblano and one of the best Sunday brunch buffets in town. Just make sure to save room for the sweet stuff, as Ortega’s brother, pastry chef Ruben Ortega, makes handmade chocolate desserts with in-house roasted and ground cacao beans that are absolute knockouts.