Follow the aroma of wood-fired lobster to find The Hideaway in downtown Cashmere. Your tastebuds will thank your nose.
The new casual-yet-chic restaurant in the former Pioneer House location opened Oct. 8 and has since been fine-tuning its lunch and dinner menus with increasingly surprising offerings.
Owner and chef Kim Barrera, who last year served up French Creole food at Leavenworth’s Big Easy, specializes at The Hideaway in steaks and fresh seafood. But Barrera also draws oohs-and-ahhs from diners with daily fresh-sheet offerings of venison stews and steaks, wild boar chops, raw and baked oysters, live crabs cooked on the spot and the aforementioned lobsters roasted in a wood-fired oven. “The flavor is incredible,” she says. “I’m certain customers will be surprised.”
This Saturday (Oct. 26), Barrera celebrates the opening of her new eatery with dinner beginning at 5 p.m. and a ’70s-themed grand opening party (music, costumes, disco ball) starting at 9 p.m. in the huge second-floor space above the restaurant.
The self-taught chef, 48, said she’s been “cooking like a crazy girl” since she was in third grade and has aimed most of her life to be a successful restaurateur. Yes, she’s worked other jobs — hair dresser, real estate agent, assistant nurse — but she’s always returned to food.
A decade ago, Barrera operated a “tiki bar and surfer’s joint” in San Clemente, Calif., and last year nearly ran herself ragged operating the Big Easy. “It was too big, too busy, too time-consuming,” said Barrera. “I knew I wanted to get back to something more intimate, something casual but with just a tiny bit of fancy — a place where you can drop in for a simple dinner or celebrate an anniversary.”
By design, said Barrera, The Hideaway’s interior feels like a real hideaway — low light with candles, bamboo screens, pulled-back drapes separating dining niches. “I was thinking back to that tiki bar and how people loved the feeling of it,” she said. “I couldn’t duplicate that exactly, but we’ve definitely added a few of those casual touches. And a beachy style definitely goes together with seafood.”
Either Barrera or her assistant makes frequent runs to the Seattle area to load up on fresh fish and shellfish. “People tell me I’m crazy,” she said, “but the taste of fresh fish is so different, so distinctive from frozen, that it makes it all worthwhile.”
She recommends the fresh seafood chowder — made to order — for its mix of fish, crab and other shellfish and “deep, intense flavors.”
Barrera added, “We want our customers to be comfortable and satisfied. But we also want them to be excited about what they might find here — fresh ingredients prepared in ways that taste wonderful.”
Details: The Hideaway, 128 Cottage Ave., Suite B, Cashmere. Open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; for dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 782-4433.