Gina Murphy understands restaurants, and that’s why she is one of those gifted people who can imbue a restaurant – in her case, Hugo’s, just off St Stephen’s Green – with the distilled essence of restaurantness. In simple terms, she brings and creates the energy that makes you want to be in that room, savouring the food, enjoying the wine, revelling in that evening of sheer magic. It’s no small gift, being able to do this: it’s an art, and an art form, and one that few people can manage. You need to be theatrical, but also intensely practical. You need to be flamboyant, but also controlled. You need to direct your orchestra of staff, whilst also allowing then to solo and shine. You need to be super generous, whilst still being focused. It is, ultimately, a form of magic, to be able to do what Ms Murphy does, and it is why Hugo’s delivers the magic.
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