Even as many of us (tentatively) approach normal as the pandemic subsides, local restaurants’ innovations in takeout and delivery are probably here to stay. Still, there’s something exciting about gathering with people—real people that you don’t even live with—and learning to dine in again. To celebrate a much more hopeful summer 2021, Hearth and Hill welcomed us to try their new seasonal menu. Because Gov. Cox’s prayers were answered, a summer rainstorm prevented us from enjoying their dog-friendly patio, but the season still shined through in a meal that prominently featured local, fresh ingredients.
The dinner started strong with the Kimball Cactus cocktail, the restaurant’s entry in the Park City Cocktail Contest. Created by mixologist Daisy Clark, the drink combines Rabbit & Grass Reposado, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, lemon juice, lemongrass simple syrup, grapefruit bitters and Hakkaisan sparkling sake. The highlight: Butterfly pea flower infused ice cubes, which changed the drink’s dreamy blue color as they melted.
For appetizers, head chef Jordan Harvey served a fig and speck flatbread and beer-battered cauliflower with a mustardy Carolina gold sauce, an elevated take on pub food. The main course began with a refreshing strawberry and feta salad. Two inventive seafood dishes—scallops with pea puree, garlic crumble, apple and fresno chile and striped black bass prepared with dashi, summer squash, lemon confit and mushroom preserve—followed. Taking advantage of meat from next-door neighbor Chop Shop, a juicy, flavorful dry aged steak was paired with bacon-wrapped asparagus. As a bonus, two staples from Hearth and Hill’s regular menu were served as side dishes: truffle mac and cheese and pork gyoza. Plus, good news for french fry lovers: hearty steak fries are served with the dry-aged steak and tasty dill seasoned fries with chive cream come a la carte.
The meal ended with three desserts from pastry chef Jessie Nakoneczny. The hot fudge brownie sundae was served with salted vanilla ice cream and cherries from Normal. The chocolate cake bar made me nostalgic for Hostess Ho Hos, but this grown-up version had lime, dark chocolate, and a big dollop of whipped cream and maple that playfully looked like mashed potatoes and gravy. My personal favorite, the strawberry and peach pie, is deceptively simple, but why mess with a perfect combo: fresh summer fruit and homemade pastry?
When Hearth and Hill opened a few years ago, they were part of an influx of local dining options away from Park City’s Main Street. Recently, two Thai restaurants, Taste of Thai and Thai So Good, opened in Snyderville Basin, expanding the diversity of food options in the ski town. Now, Kimball Junction has bucked its reputation for chains, quietly building a hub of dining options for locals who want to support independent restaurants while avoiding the crowds and price points of tourist-heavy mainstays.
Hearth and Hill wears this local-first approach on its sleeve. They source ingredients from local businesses like Top Crops, Gracie’s Farm and New World Distillery. They also won a 2021 Blue Plate Award for hosting community fundraisers and providing flu shots and food to their employees and workers from other local businesses. And, sensing our hunger for in-person experiences, Hearth & Hill is hosting community events throughout the summer. This Sunday, they are hosting a classic car show along with ‘50s style brunch, and they are planning event collaborations with Woodland Biscuit Company and Copper Moose Farm later this year.