For this week’s dining adventure the missus and I masked up and headed to Hearth and Hill restaurant in Park City to check out the new summer menu there. One thing I particularly like about Hearth and Hill – especially during a pandemic – is that it’s LARGE. There is plenty of space – both indoors and on the patio – for safe, socially distanced dining. Before being seated you’ll also be given the option of a sanitized menu to hold or you can access the Hearth and Hill menu online if you’d rather.
We picked a shady table on the patio and were reminded that Hearth and Hill is a dog-friendly eatery when we saw water bowls for dogs next to some of the tables.
“Park City is certainly a ‘dog city,’ and we want to celebrate that,” said Proprietor Brooks Kirchheimer. “Dogs are such an important part of our lives, and we know that’s true for so many of our guests. We want to be sure we’re celebrating the community’s love for our four-legged friends and offering a safe, comfortable space for owners to bring their canines along when they enjoy snacks, drinks or a meal on the patio.”
In addition to certifying the patio as an official dog-friendly patio with the Summit County Health Department, Hearth and Hill offers mocktails that are named after staff members’ dogs, all of which were adopted from shelters. The mocktail menu includes Boone’s Bubbles, Jack’s Jubilee and Layla’s Lemonade. In addition, “canine guests are treated to a custom Hearth and Hill tennis ball and a tasty treat.”
The Hearth and Hill menu is cleverly coded. For example, the dinner menu is divided into these categories: shareable, snackable, harvestable, feastable and spoonable. We found the Cornmeal Dusted Calamari ($14) – which is gluten-free and on the shareable menu – to be exceptional. It was tender, crisp calamari very lightly dusted with cornmeal that came with blistered shshito peppers, jalapeño slices, fresh lemon wedges and scrumptious herb aioli.
Other “shareable” menu items include an ahi poke bowl, shrimp shumai with yum yum sauce, potato pierogi with creme fraiche, truffle mac and cheese, pork belly gyoza, and more.
According to our outstanding server Dan, most of the “snackable” side of the menu is new this summer. It ranges from French fries (garlic parmesan or salt & pepper) and dill pickles with cucumber and green beans, to tamarind cashew-crusted beets, cheddar biscuits with honey butter, and more.
A great bar or table snack, in my opinion, are the spiced pecans from the menu’s snackable section.
My favorite snackable item was the Chicken Liver Pâté ($6). Chicken livers don’t get much respect these days, so I was thrilled to see Chicken Liver Pâté on the menu. And man, was it great! The terrine of pâté was topped with gelée and served with grilled baguette slices. The pâté itself was creamy and beautifully seasoned with (I think) cinnamon, allspice, cloves … maybe even star anise? Whatever it was, kudos to Executive Chef Jordan Harvey for creating one of the finest pâtés I’ve ever tasted.
One of the more inventive new dishes on Chef Harvey’s summer menu is Wild Salmon ($34). Now, normally wild salmon wouldn’t even attract my attention; it’s on probably 9 of 10 restaurant menus. But this was gluten-free, lightly crusted salmon in a corn broth with mussels, fresh fava beans, sprouts and toasted corn. It’s a gorgeous, light dish that is perfect for summer. My only complaint was that it was served before about half of the mussels had opened up.
Following Dan’s suggestion, I ordered Korean Fried Chicken ($26) for my entree from the “feastable” section of the menu. Fair warning: this incendiary dish is not for the timid or heat averse. I could tell from the bright red color of the sauce that this was going to be a spicy adventure. Essentially, this is an Asian version of chicken and waffles. It’s fried boneless chicken smothered in spicy guongajong sauce atop a scallion potato waffle with daikon “slaw” on the side. The dish also comes with seasoned maple syrup which serves to balance on the chili-spice heat somewhat. It’s one of Hearth and Hill’s most popular dishes.
Hearth and Hill summer hours are: Monday-Thursday: Noon-8:30 pm; Friday & Saturday: Noon-9 pm; and Sunday: 10 am-8:30 pm. Reservations for either dine-in or dine-out options including take-out, free delivery, frozen items, farmers’ bags, etc. are available to order on-line or by calling the restaurant at 435-200-8840.
Photos by Ted Scheffler; Dog photo courtesy of Carla Boecklin Photography/Hearth and Hill
Culinary quote of the week:
“Seeing is deceiving. It’s eating that’s believing.” — James Thurber
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.