Now that the fire that closed them down for two years is but a flash in the rear view mirror, the folks over at the Hideout are busy making up for lost time. I mean, this place jumps! It sizzles with energy and upbeat vibes. You should see it on Friday night, says my lunch companion. The spacious front patio, replete with hanging heat lamps and a cozy al fresco firepit, welcomes patrons to a newly expanded interior. Skylights and strategically placed flat screen TV monitors adorn the well-populated main bar. A huge back dining room beckons, and to the side is the revamped original dining room, complete with the stone fireplace from its Chez Renee days of continental cuisine. There’s no doubt that Aptos is happy to have the Hideout back in action.
The menu cuts to the chase. If you can get past the lineup of mouth-watering cocktails, there’s tasty food here. Spicy appetizers, from shishito pepper with lime aioli to shoestring truffle fries, get things started. And a long list of salads and sandwiches aims directly at lunchtime appetites. There are a few choice entrees too—short ribs, a New York strip steak, two pastas and currently a king salmon risotto. But I had my eye on the house cheeseburger ($15). I ordered it my way, medium rare, with cheddar cheese and a side of fries ($15). Melody opted for the Cuban, a gorgeous sourdough sandwich of smoked ham, aged swiss, dill pickles and slow-cooked Yucatan pulled pork slathered with dijon aioli ($18). I wanted some aioli too, so the waitress brought me a small container of Sriracha aioli, which you can get with side orders of fries—and let me tell you that was one fiery aioli, absolutely brilliant with my cheeseburger. It was a textbook, classic cheeseburger, the kind you fantasize about. Soft potato bun, juicy delicious ground beef, which for no particular reason came topped with a mound of caramelized onions. They looked great but I’m not a fan, so I simply scraped them to the side, applied catsup and dug in. Melody also dug in, giving me enough of a sample of her sandwich to make me grin with pleasure. I was glad I’d ordered the cheeseburger, wonderful with a tall, cold glass of lemonade lightly laced with fresh strawberry puree ($4). One of these Fridays that cozy firepit on the front terrace will be calling my name. The Hideout, 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Open daily 11:30am—9pm. thehideoutaptos.com.
Yes Ser!Over at Ser Winery Tasting Room, just up the road from the Hideout in Aptos Village, winemaker Nicole Walsh and company will be pouring some choice Ser wines on Saturday August 7 out on the green in front of the spacious New LeafMarket. Ticket sales benefit Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Nice event for a great goal. On Thursday, August 29th, Persephone and Ser get together again for one of those popular Ser winemaker dinners. Walsh is singing the praises of Persephone Chef Cori Goudge-Ayer and her knack for making artistic wine/food pairings … Plan ahead for the September 18 Fall Feast at Live Earth Farm. Beverages by Storrs Winery, Venus Spirits, Discretion Brewing and more. Multi-course dinner from the Live Earth Farm fields prepared by Chef Diego Felix, Jessica Yarr and others. Live music and auction, 100% of sales and auction purchases go to support the Farm Discovery’s various programs. Good programs, great idea. Sliding scale tickets at eventbrite.com. Info at farmdiscovery.org/event/shine.