Delightful Dining in Hyde Park
by Lonni Leavitt-Barker, photos by Tiffany Howard
Prepare to be smitten before you even walk in the door— make that walk up the sidewalk. The newly opened Hyde House restaurant in Hyde Park is a charmer. Cozy and inviting, you’ll be torn between the front patio—which offers the perfect place to watch north-end bikers, shoppers, and strollers— or the dining room with its handcrafted family style tables.
At the Hyde House it is truly a family affair. The Monteith family grew up in Boise and now brother Dillon, his sister Kasey, and their mom Jill have opened up the little restaurant.
They’ll tell you it’s been a labor of love. Dillon did most of the renovations himself over a year and a half period. Kasey researched for the menu and marketing. And mom, Jill, decorated the place using décor from her store, The Recycled Room.
But they will all tell you, the real secret weapon to the Hyde House’s allure is the woman they have running the kitchen: Raylene Ward.
Raylene has a lengthy resume when it comes to cooking. However, her real talent comes from her grandmother. “She used to cook for large cattle ranches. She did everything— milked the cow, took feathers off the chickens,” said Raylene.
And Raylene has followed in her grandmother’s footsteps; nothing is pre-made, everything is “real food”. “We don’t even have a can opener. Okay, we do, but it doesn’t work,” said Raylene. If you visit the Hyde House, peek around the corner and you’ll see the kitchen. It is tiny, likely about the same size as the one in your home. There’s only one oven and two burners—to do all that cooking.
“People are surprised at the kind of food that we make out of that small kitchen. They are surprised it’s not just tuna salad and chips, which, by the way, I don’t have anything against making tuna salad. As long as it is the best tuna salad anyone has ever had,” said Raylene.
The Hyde House itself is the other secret weapon. It is 100 years old but fully remodeled with pleasing colors, clean, bright, and with fresh flowers.
For years, it served as a rental. And it’s not unusual to have someone come into the restaurant to eat who once dined there years ago as a renter.
“Actually, we had three sisters in the other day who lived here in the 40’s,” said Kasey Monteith. “It was fun to show them around.”
The menu may be small but they say they put full attention into every plate. And with six local beers on tap, there is sure to be something for everyone.