Hide-A-Way Hills Lodge: Ohio Lakefront Restaurant Review
One hour drive south of Columbus, Ohio is a private and gated lakefront community know as Hide-A-Way Hills. Like many private lake communities that are off the beaten path, one of the many questions asked is “where do we eat?”. Well at Hide-A-Way Hills they just so happen to have a lodge located within the community, fitted with a full restaurant as well as a successful and popular microbrewery. And after dining at the lodge yesterday I can tell you that that the Hide-A-Way Hills Lodge is a high end establishment that serves good food and great drinks year round.
Although it is available year round for residents, anyone who doesn’t live in the community has to make a reservation in order to gain entrance through the gate. Located towards the back of the complex the restaurant sits away from the water and so it isn’t “lakefront” per say, however it is one of two places to eat inside the lake community, and the next closest place is probably fifteen minutes outside the gate. So if living in this community is an option for you, you may want to get familiar with the Lodge. When you first walk in I can honestly say that the main seating area isn’t what I would call impressive, instead it reminds me of a mid-grade buffet setting. Its not bad, its just kind of plain. But that scenery changes as soon as you step into the bar area; it’s well decorated with fine details such as hanging custom growlers, candlelit tabletops, wooden décor that gives it a cabin feel, all designed to make you feel like you stepped into a rustic but quality tavern setting. The staff was more then friendly and made sure to make us feel welcome, which was needed since you can immediately tell that almost everyone else there knows each other from the community. The atmosphere, although a little loud (it didn’t help that it was coincidently trivia night, more on that later) it was definitely friendly and could very well be a factor in deciding on whether to live there or not. Funny enough, several residents even mentioned that I should in fact buy a place there so we could enjoy the fun more often. The Lodge is also the host of several events and activities, one of which is the trivia night that I mentioned earlier held the first Thursday of every month. It was fun and friendly and just another example of how tight nit the community seems to be. And I was told that comedians, live bands, and other miscellaneous events are not uncommon to be held there.
The food was surprisingly good, with a menu that changes often to satisfy a small and regular customer base. The shrimp I had was tasty, and although I felt that it in itself was pricey (it is Ohio after all, Seafood is rarely cheap) the rest of the meal was shockingly well priced compared to the taste and quality. Although not every item was tried, I finished my plate of barbeque shrimp, potatoe fries and green beans in its entirety, before I helped my girlfriend finish her chicken sandwich. And my brother , who was lucky enough to tag along, wolfed down his quesadilla burger without pause (yes you read that right a quesadilla burger) I could tell that everything was fresh, especially the bun of her chicken sandwich, as they did claim it was made in house, which I believe, and none of the food had the remnant taste of being frozen as you would sometimes expect in a tavern like setting. Besides the food, the Lodge also happens to have a fully stocked bar as well as brews two of its own beers; a lager and a pale ale. Now, the lager had a nice crisp taste with an easy going after-taste, and the pale ale was unfortunately out of stock at the time I was there. Some of the residents and staff did tell me that it was the best pale ale in the state, and from the looks of how much is consumed at the Lodge they probably believe it. But in the case of giving an opinion, it looks like I have an excuse to head back, and coincidently they do sell their micro-brewed beverages in growlers. So maybe I’ll be able to bring some back to pass along.
All in all the beer was good, the food was great, the staff was pleasant and the atmosphere was fun, exciting and inviting all at the same time. Although the Hide-a-Way Hills Lodge lacks the lakefront view, it makes up for it in quality and community friendliness that often makes up a large part of the lakefront living lifestyle that so many people are looking for. It may not be enough of a reason to buy into this specific lakefront community, but its still a great place to spend some time.
Written by Justin Shelton Lakefront Consultant – The Lake Team