Although the Hyde & Chic restaurant may be new, Chef Andy Hyde is certainly seasoned when it comes to the culinary scene. Originally from Ghana, Chef Hyde spent time in Chicago before enrolling at the Culinary Academy in Hannover, Germany. Recently, he has decided to take his impressive background from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon restaurant, Chicago’s three Michelin Star restaurant, Alinea, and his global travels and hone them into his own creation—Hyde and Chic.
Before making the reservation, we could tell through Chef Hyde’s social media that the dining experience would be unique based on the artistic take on all of his dishes. We knew that we had to book a reservation during the soft opening to avoid the crowds that will ultimately flock to the restaurant. Located in an unassuming strip mall on the corner of Creech Road and 41, the inside tastefully features an eclectic art wall painted with metallics by local artist, Fabienne Vieyres. The open kitchen makes it easy to witness the excitement and creativity at work by the entire staff.
The soft opening allowed us to either select from any of the many entrees or choose a three, six, or nine-course tasting menu. With so many options, we both chose six-course tastings with an attempt to each select a different entree to maximize our exploration of the menu.
We enjoyed every single course we had, especially the amuse-bouche. Artistically designed to resemble a bird’s nest, the amuse-bouche featured a dried plantain and eggplant caviar in addition to a tasting of salmon caviar, apples, and crème fraiche. Most notably, our favorite dishes were the Scottish Salmon and the Signature Chilean Sea Bass. For the steak and potatoes population of Southwest Florida, Chef Hyde has not forgotten about you. His 6oz Filet Beef Tenderloin was one of the best that I have had. The tenderloin was finished off with roasted Brussel sprouts and grilled scallions, fine herbs, cauliflower mashed potato, and a green peppercorn sauce—taking your basic meat and potatoes meal and elevating it to a new dimension.
What is a night of fine dining without dessert? We finished off with “A Variation of Ghanaian Chocolate,” which creatively fashioned chocolate mousse rocks, chocolate soil, a ganache cigar, Colombian coffee panna cotta, and nitrogen salted caramel ice cream to create a cloud of vapor.
Aside from the food, Chef Hyde’s personality brings together the entire occasion. He comes to each table to engage with every guest, explain the concept, and answer questions. He has a personality that makes you feel right at home, instantly comfortable, and appreciated.
There are plenty of fine dining restaurants throughout Southwest Florida, however, not many cultivate an intimate dining experience where the chef personally brings out almost every dish to explain all the puzzle pieces of the meal.
Hyde & Chic is truly an example that fine dining has transformed from the usual stuffy and repetitive entrees into an exciting dining and cultural experience. This transformation does not happen on its own, rather it takes passionate, driven, and creative chefs like Andy Hyde that propel fine dining to a new level.