Recently the Discriminating Diner and crew visited the Hut Restaurant in Buckingham Florida. For those of you new to the area, The Hut has been a landmark for many years. It recently re-opened under new ownership to the delight of many. The Peace Gardens and the boardwalk are a real treat to experience. The restaurant underwent a renovation and now has a Florida theme.
The Hut has 4 dining rooms and 3 bars. One can dine in The Hut and be entertained with live music. There is the Shanty for casual dining, The Lean To bar and The Shack Out Back bar and snacks.
On the night we were there we dined in the Hut. The live music was blues and other tunes one could dance to. They played at a level where we could still talk at our table and not have to shout. It really added to the dining experience. There is a mural all along the walls of the Everglades that is truly stunning.
The menu consists of Chicken, Fish, Steak, Shrimp and Pasta. Prices range from $9.99 - $34.99 with average price range $14.99 - $22.99. We all had a variety of entrée’s including the Pork Loin Chops ($15.99), Salmon ($16.99) and the Shrimp ($14.99) as well as salads, appetizers and of course desserts. The portions were of good size and were all cook to order using fresh products. The onion rings are just ok but everything else was very good. The flavor profiles could be kicked up a notch and that would put everything over the top. The Blackberry Cobbler was excellent and just a bit different than you would expect. Definitely a nice surprise and well worth giving it a try.
While the food and atmosphere are very good, the service on the other hand needs some work. A real pet peeve I have is when the entrees are served before one is finished with their salad and that was the case on this evening. The servers all have tablets to process ones orders and one would think this is to speed the process up. However on that night service was slow. Our server was pleasant and friendly but we were not asked in we wanted refills on our beverages. Those who were having cocktails also had to ask to have another. Our server would come to the table and ask one person or another if they wanted a cocktail or coffee but would not ask all the others. When taking the coffee orders he did not ask if anyone wanted cream so he had to go and get some. Our server disappeared for a while and when he returned he went and sat at a table with other diners. We had to ask for our checks as well.
The outdoor bar areas are very scenic and overlook the gardens. It is a great place for drinks with friends on a cool Florida winter evening. Overall the hut has great potential and despite the service being less than acceptable the overall experience was pleasant and made for a great evening with friends. For those that live east of I-75 the Hut is a great option when one wants a nice meal with entertainment. For those that live west of I-75 it is a pleasant destination restaurant and worth the trip especially if you remember The Hut from years ago.