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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Familiar face opens a new Italian and steak place in Hurricane

A new Italian and steak place owned by an already popular restaurateur has opened on Main Street in Hurricane at the site of the former Connolly’s Irish Pub.

Lasagna from Sergio's Cucina Italiana & Steaks
Lasagna from Sergio's Cucina Italiana & Steaks

Sergio Lugo-Mata, who also owns and operates Guadalajara Modern Mexican in Nitro, officially launched Sergio’s Cucina Italiana & Steaks during a grand opening on Dec. 11.

The introductory menu includes a selection of traditional Italian dishes like seafood or chicken fettuccine alfredo, chicken Parmigiana, sausage with Pomodoro, lasagna and spaghetti, along with a few steak and seafood dishes like a porterhouse T-bone, ribeye and Italian-crusted salmon.

Seafood alfredo from Sergio's
Seafood alfredo from Sergio's

There’s also an over-the-top “chicken alfredo fries” appetizer that has me especially intrigued.

A full menu is available on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Although I haven’t been to his new place yet, Sergio has gained a positive reputation at Guadalajara and seems to be “all in” on doing the same at his new venture in Hurricane.

In a Facebook post thanking customers for the warm welcome the restaurant has received, Sergio acknowledged there will be hiccups during the first few weeks of being open and that steps are already being taken to address them.

Porterhouse steak and veggies from Sergio's
Porterhouse steak and veggies from Sergio's

“I’ve learned from my first restaurant opening that things will not go as planned sometimes, but we will work very hard to adjust and make things right,” he said.

“Please be patient as wait times and cooking times will be higher than usual, especially the first few days. If at any time during your visit you feel that it wasn’t the best and you have any suggestions, please ask for me directly and I will make it right.”

That’s a smart business owner right there.

Chicken parmesan from Sergio's
Chicken parmesan from Sergio's

“I will say the kitchen staff has worked very hard and has learned very quickly and has been executing dishes perfectly,” he continued.

“We have also pulled additional staff from Guadalajara in Nitro to continue training the staff we have hired here.”

The restaurant has applied for a liquor license, is pursuing the addition of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and features an upstairs dining area that is undergoing renovations to increase seating in the future.

Guests should note the restaurant isn’t taking reservations for dinner yet, so tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • IF YOU GO: Sergio’s Cucina Italiana & Steaks at 2803 Main St. in Hurricane is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 681-456-1505 or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

WV Christmas dish named #2 in the U.S.

In a new poll that means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things – but is fun nonetheless – Americans have chosen a West Virginia holiday dish as their second-most favorite from a list of top plates from all 50 states.

Italian-seasoned salmon from Sergio's
Italian-seasoned salmon from Sergio's

Recipe website surveyed 3,000 foodies nationwide to put together a list of each state’s favorite contemporary Christmas dish. Then folks voted on the complete lineup to pick which state’s meal they would most like to eat.

Although Delaware came out on top with its Dutch Apple-Glazed Chicken spiced with cinnamon and cloves, West Virginia claimed to #2 spot with the similar Apple Butter-Glazed Pork Chop oozing sweet and savory goodness.

Rounding out the top five were Chicken-Fried Steak with Cream Gravy from Oklahoma, Pulled Pork with Mustard BBQ Sauce and Collard Greens from South Carolina and Hot Brown Turkey Casserole from our neighbors in Kentucky.

’Tis the season … for guzzling eggnog

A few final useless stats, anyone? (I’ll say) also polled 3,000 Americans on their eggnog-drinking habits to determine that we, as a nation, will consume about 1.2 billion glasses of the traditional creamy libation this holiday season.

Ribeye and veggies from Sergio's
Ribeye and veggies from Sergio's

That’s based on the average American indulging in six eggnogs this month (slackers) although residents of Vermont tip the scales at a whopping 19 eggnogs consumed per person (overachievers) during December. And while Vermonters drink the most eggnog, they can’t come close to what calls “the drunkest state,” North Dakota, where the average resident downs eight alcoholic drinks a day.

Whether you choose to imbibe a little or a lot this season, take note the survey found that two of the top five “worst hangover days” are coming up next week. While the day after July 4 ranks as #1, it’s followed by the day after Christmas, the day after Christmas Eve, the day after St. Patrick’s Day and the day after Thanksgiving.

Sip smartly, my friends.

• • •

Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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