We weren't sure exactly what to expect when arriving at The Hearth and all were pleasantly surprised upon entering. On a drizzly fall night the restaurant felt warm and inviting as the friendly hostess led us to our booth.
The dining room was already bustling at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night, probably because of the Early Bird Specials. There were three separate seating areas and simple decorations on the wood-backed walls. It seemed very old-fashioned and could stand some updating, but was comfortable and cozy nonetheless.
The waitress came promptly to get our drink order and we started off with some Fried Mozzarella ($6.50), my daughter's favorite. The mozzarella was very cheesy and crisp. The sauce was a little bland but not bad.
Our salads followed, along with white bread and crackers. The dressing on my salad was Italian Gorgonzola, a zesty topper for the crisp iceberg lettuce underneath.
My daughter enjoyed watching the large fish scavenge for food as she waited for her dinner.
The Early Bird Specials menu included many chicken, fish and meat selections from as low as $10, including sides. We all chose to go with steak off of the regular dinner menu. My husband chose the New York Strip ($17.50) which came with French fries and green beans. He said it was delicious and nice and tender.
I selected the Filet Mignon ($19.95) which came topped with large, tender, sautéed mushrooms. Mashed potatoes accompanied the tender cut of beef, and were shaped in a big white ball which my daughter said looked like a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The potatoes had a slight hint of garlic, which added just the right flavor.
The kids both had the Sirloin Steak ($7.25) from the children's menu. The generous portion of meat was sliced thin and very tender. My son said it was the "best steak I ever had" and my daughter said it was "really really good." Both of their dinners came with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, which were perfectly cooked — "not too mushy," they both agreed. The children's meals also came with a soda. This menu item is really a bargain for the quality and portion size of the food in comparison to other restaurants.
We didn't have room for dessert. Of course my daughter managed to squeeze in a few last bites, and she chose the Orange Sherbet ($3.50), which she couldn't finish. Other dessert choices included Chocolate Mousse Cake, a Peanut Ball drizzled with chocolate sauce and a Lemon Mousse.
Our bill for dinner for four came to $85, including drinks, tax, and a 20 percent tip for excellent service. Portions are generous and everything was delicious.
The open-air kitchen at The Hearth allows guests to view the chef as he churns out his specialties. There is a room in the back for private parties. The clientele at The Hearth was predominantly older at this time of night, which kept the noise level to a minimum, in comparison with other restaurants. There is nothing fancy about The Hearth, but if you want good American food at low prices in a comfortable environment, this is the place to go.