***** (5 stars)
I love the ambiance at Hearth, with its feeling of old Southern charm. It’s similar to when it was Quince (and the receipt even says Quince) but the food is even better now, and the prices very reasonable.
The menu features interesting small plates, and also lets you select a half portion of the larger plates, so it’s a great place to graze. Everything is house-made, including the various delicate varieties of pasta. The menu changes seasonally, with a few favorites always retained.
We began with vichyssoise, which was significantly over-salted, but contained some wonderfully sweet morsels of lobster.
Burrata was a good starter, served with nicely grilled toast. I was uncertain what to do with the accompanying lentils.
The scallops served with passion fruit and cauliflower puree were a standout. The chef really wanted us to try this dish, and I’m glad we did. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the puree was divine. We also loved the baby sweet carrots.
Svickova was an interesting dish, a bit like a stroganoff. It consisted of beautifully cooked beef tenderloin, house made garlic spaetzle, and wild mushrooms in a sour cream dill sauce. We loved the crispy bits of browned spaetzle.
Cavatelli Carbonara was also scrumptious. The obviously house-made pasta was suffused with a rich mixture of bacon and caramelized onions, and topped with a truffle arugula salad. A half order was plenty for two!
There’s a nice wine list with an emphasis on France, and extensive selections by the glass.
Service was extremely friendly, and the chef makes an effort to visit with each table, something that never happened at Quince.
On nice evenings it’s delightful to dine on the front porch.
1625 Hinman Ave
Evanston, IL 60201