“You can go anywhere to get burgers, but we’re trying to make it more unique,” said Nefu Mageo, the general manager of Hillside Resort.
With a restaurant, bar, convenience store, and a lodge, Hillside in Wentworth always has something going on.
“Jeff and Debbie Luther, who are my in-laws, bought the place in 2015. I’ve been running it since then,” said Mageo.
The Hillside is broken into two restaurants—The Hillside Steakhouse upstairs and Hemingway’s Hideaway on the bottom floor.
“Upstairs is really focused on fine dining since we serve steak and seafood,” explained Mageo. “Downstairs we have burgers, sandwiches, and typical things you could go to other bars and get. However we make ours a little different; we put a twist into it.”
Taking a new approach on classic bar food, Mageo says that Hemingway’s Hideaway has been a long time coming for Hillside.
“A lot of the people here want to sit outside. Before, it was hard for us to bring food up and down so we decided to put a kitchen in the basement,” said Mageo.
The namesake of the restaurant comes from the owner, Jeff’s, love of Key West, FL and the historical figures that it has to offer.
“My father-in-law goes to Key West every winter and there is a bar there named after Ernest Hemingway. He thought it would be cool to bring back some pieces of his story to South Dakota,” said Mageo.
Being on Lake Madison the atmosphere of Hemingway’s Hideaway is amplified by its lakeside views.
“On a nice day people just want to come sit here and look at the lake. An advantage that we have is our view. You don’t find a place this big around here,” said Mageo.
While customers can taste traditional menu items like the Highway 34 Burger they can also experience something different, like The Big Key Fish Tacos with crispy fried cod, creamy coleslaw, and fresh pico de gallo, topped with house made spicy mayo aioli.
“A lot of people who come here want appetizers or quick bites, and that stuff is quick to make,” he said.
One of Mageo’s more recent creations is the Cocorona, which has coconut rum, cranberry juice, and a splash of lime, served in a quarter-full Corona bottle.
“People who came in wanting a Bud Lite come in now and this is all they drink,” said Mageo.
The Hillside also doubles as a popular event space. They host class reunions, birthday parties, wedding ceremonies, and other big events.
We do an annual luau. We have dancers from out of state come and perform here. It is one of our biggest events of the year,” said Mageo.
The luau is currently scheduled to happen on August 1.
TASTE OF THE MENUS
Melted cheddar and Swiss cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms. This has been a Hillside favorite, created by the original owner 30 years ago.
Two chicken breasts topped with handcrafted hollandaise, lump crab meat, and fresh asparagus.
+PRIME RIB SANDWICH
Slow-roasted prime rib, Swiss cheese, served on a ciabatta bun with au jus and horseradish.
+ASIAN FRIED CHICKEN TWISTS
Sweet chili sauce, crispy chicken twists, and scallions.
+BBQ PULLED PORK LOADED WITH FRIES
Crispy French fries, pulled pork, shredded cheese, onions, bacon, topped with barbecue chipotle sauce.
Barbecue sauce, pulled pork, pineapple, and sweet onions.
“Our goal is to be a destination for everyone. You can bring your family out here and enjoy yourself.”
Don’t have a boat? No problem! Call (605) 256-9558 for questions and availability.
+ Big Kahuna Public Cruise ($15 Per Head for 10 or More People // Includes $5 Credit Toward a Meal at the Hillside)
+ Paddle Board & Kayaking Rental ($45 All Day)
+ Private Cruises (2 Hour Minimum Rental // $300 for 2 Hours, $100 Extra Hour // Cash Bar Available on the Big Kahuna)
+ Pontoon Rental ($175 for 2 Hours, $300 for 4 Hours, $450 for 8 Hours, $55 Extra Hour)
Loyal customers have shown unwavering support of the Hillside throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Mageo says. Whether it be through calling orders in for contactless pick up or sitting six feet apart on the patio, customers have found ways to enjoy the restaurant.
He left off, “Business is starting to pick up now that the weather is getting warmer. Hopefully we will be back to what we were at last year soon.”
For more information, visit hillsidesteakhouse.com.