‘Open kitchen with Terrific Food
Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway has a lot to recommend it: a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere with style, warm lighting that’s soft but you can still read the menu, and, of course, terrific food. But my favorite part (other than the perfectly prepared scallops) is the open kitchen.
My companions and I sat on stools at an onyx, lit-from-within counter and watched the action, as Chef Scott Fraser and his helpers deftly cooked and dished mouth-watering meals.
Chef Scott and his wife Josee, who handles the service end of the business, worked in restaurants in Vancouver, B.C. and are both graduates of the Pierre Dubrulle Culinary School, which emphasizes French cuisine. They accumulated 20-plus years of practice before they opened Frasers Gourmet Hideaway in Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, in 2006. It’s become a favorite of local diners and brings in customers from around the region.
Watching the cooks move swiftly from chopping boards to frying pans, it was clear they love the work and the sense of theater. Scott, who enjoys talking with customers, says it’s in his blood.
“It’s an instant feedback industry,” he says. “If people love your food, you’re rewarded.”
Chef Scott and Josee have created a menu that focuses on fresh, local ingredients and Northwest wines. They’re surrounded by the bounty of Pacific Northwest farms and waters so they have a lot to choose from.
A few favorites: Penn Cove mussels in curry cream broth, Dungeness crab cakes with risotto, seafood chowder and fabulous seared sea scallops with sage and brown butter chanterelles and truffle stringozzi pasta.
There’s more than seafood on the menu. Beef tenderloin on wild mushroom risotto and roasted rack of lamb in herb and pistachio crust come to mind. There’s always a chicken dish and the ever-popular “Surf & Turf,” grilled filet mignon topped with a prawn, sea scallop and mussels, and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Tasty desserts, too.
Real bottom line: Fraser’s is not to be missed when you’re on Whidbey Island. I’ll be back every chance I get. —Marilyn McFarlane, RFT Contributor
Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway
1191 SE Dock St, #101
Oak Harbor, WA 98277