Downtown Beaufort just got a little bit tastier as the much-anticipated new American-Italian eatery, Hearth, opened its doors this past Thursday evening to a packed house of hungry patrons. The family restaurant serving wood-fired Neopolitan-style pizzas, inventive pastas and more is the vision of Lantz Price, who also owns and operates downtown favorites Plums Restaurant and Saltus River Grill.
Currently, the restaurant’s hours are limited to dinner-only Thursday through Sunday this week, and then opens a steady Wednesday through Sunday from 5-10pm starting on Wednesday, August the 23rd. By fall, Price says it’ll be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week with hopes of serving pizzas until midnight.
The restaurant serves up specialty wood-fired pizzas including a house fennel sausage, a prosciutto & arugula and one called ‘shroomage’, among others. The pasta side of the menu includes an eggplant parmesan, a shrimp scampi, a wood-fired lasagna and an impressive braised lamb ragu; with most of the meats and pasta made in-house. “We want to be as local as possible,” Price said. “We use Keegan-Filion Farm’s grass-fed beef from Walterboro and we also get as much fresh local produce from Brant Family Farms in Varnville. It’s all about community.”
The bar serves a variety of specialty cocktails and wines, and only regional beers from Bluffton and Charleston are on tap, with one exception. “They’re all regional, except for Allagash White. It’s a nod to Maine, where I’m originally from,” he added.
The same goes for the interior of the restaurant. Right inside the entrance are small tables and a large bar, followed by community tables and hand-made black walnut tables and another bar that is set right up at the pizza oven. It then flows into the rest of the dining room and opens up wide with a variety of tables and booths alongside floor to ceiling windows that provide fantastic lighting in the room.
The rustic upscale atmosphere is adorned with many things from the community. The wall behind the pizza oven is designed to resemble logs stacked to the ceiling and was crafted with wood that was salvaged from Hurricane Matthew. The walls are adorned with local art and other decor.
“We put our heart and soul into the restaurant and I’m really excited about the fun and vibrant design and reclaimed look that we’ve achieved. You see lots of exposed brick from the Habersham building and we have lots of natural lighting with 20′ x 30′ windows of divided light glass on the Scott Street side keeping it very bright and airy in the dining room,” Price said. “And, Saltus is right on the other side of that wall,” he added, referencing that there are now two restaurants inside the historic building.
“We designed the restaurant in a special and very inviting way. We want our patrons to feel like we opened for everybody. “With the group of restaurants we have here including Breakwater and Old Bull Tavern, downtown has become a great place for dining and it’s drawing folks from Charleston and Savannah as a regional food destination. We hope Hearth can add to that.”
“I feel really good about what downtown Beaufort has become, and it’s only going to get better.”
Hearth is the type of local spot that offers a magic mix of ambience, wine and cocktails, menu and spot-on food with a staff that will bring a smile and settle you in for a memorable evening.
Stop into the new restaurant at Bay Street and visit them on Facebook here.
Food photos courtesy Hearth Wood Fired Pizza, all others ESPB