PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Hearth restaurant in Peoria Heights serves classic American food with a touch of the south. That's how owner Hugh Higgins describes it.
The menu is farm-to-table, a dining lifestyle Higgins and his family do right in their own home.
"We were members of CSA," explained Higgins, "Community Supported Agriculture group. We got weekly deliveries. You'd sign up at the beginning of the year and you'd get a box once a week. Its something I've enjoyed in my home for 10 or 12 years now."
Higgins also enjoys the company of his brother in the kitchen. You might remember Rudy Higgins as the former band director at Peoria High School. These days Rudy hits a high note as one of Hearth's executive chefs.
"My brother and I worked side by side at a restaurant in Boston in the 1970s and we always wanted to have our own place," Hugh said. "It was always in my pocket wanting to do a restaurant."
And in the fall of 2013 that dream became a reality when they opened Hearth.
The restaurant offers separate lunch and dinner menus, both filled with farm fresh ingredients.
My visit there for lunch and was enticed by the daily special of salmon croquettes. They were pan-seared in a bread crumb crust with green onions and capers and oven-roasted. Delicious.
My meal arrived in less than 15 minutes and also came with a salad.
They make all of their own desserts from scratch and I enjoyed a magnificent slice of their bourbon pecan pie. There's vodka in the crust and the whipped cream was made fresh that morning.
With a soft drink my bill was just over $20 before tip.
Hearth is located at 4604 North Prospect in Peoria Heights and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner starting at 11 am.
I enjoyed my dining experience there and I think you will too.
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