It’s been less than three months since Quince slung its final small plate in the Homestead Hotel, and already Hearth (1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400) has moved into the space.
Helmed by former Quince front-of-houser John “Woody” Linton along with the same manager and owner, Hearth aims to be a more approachable version of its predecessor. “People loved the food here,” says Linton of the 70-seat space, “but only came for graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, things like that. We’re trying to compete more.” To do that, he’ll reel in Quince’s prices and spruce up the interior with new tabletops, lights, and a second lounge with a fireplace. He’s also scrapped chef Andy Motto’s menu—“there wasn’t much to hold onto,” he says of the ever-rotating selection—in favor of seasonal staples, including salmon, halibut, steak tartare, duck jambalaya, and asparagus salad.
Linton’s also crafted a bar menu (available in the dining room as well) with ritzy finger food á la grilled pizza and an English muffin burger. Booze-wise, Hearth will keep seven or eight beers on tap (mostly locals with a stray Budweiser) and sling cocktails, too. Linton has also severely slimmed down Quince’s wine list, from about 500 bottles to 50. And, of course, there’s television: “There will be one screen in the bar,” says Linton. “We are in a hotel. We’ve gotta have things like that.”