Hearth Room Cafe has the ‘wow’ factor
By: Suzanne Corbett
Ann Ojile, owner of Hearth Room Café in Town & Country, works hard to offer her customers a dining experience that will make them say, “Wow!”
“Average isn’t good enough. It’s got to have the wow factor – it’s got to be the best,” said Ojile, explaining how she strives to create recipes and dishes that will bring rave reviews from her guests.
When asked how as restaurateur she achieves that wow factor, Ojile said, “It’s absolutely our food – made from scratch, high quality, and recipes and menu items that are unique.”
Ojile is a long-time foodie who develops her recipes based on years of recipe collecting, research and culinary training, which have yielded Hearth Room Café’s unique menu. It begins with breakfast and lunch and on Wednesdays continues with dinner. But thanks to customer demand and plans for expansion, after the new year, when Hearth Room Café opens its new1,000-square-foot private event space, dinner will be offered Wednesdays though Saturdays.
“We kept having requests to expand our dining hours,” Ojile said. “With the expansion of our new private dining room next door, we’ll be able to open for dinner on Wednesdays through Saturdays while still being able to accommodate private parties as well as provide more space for our bridge club ladies.”
Presently, Hearth Room Café features two dining rooms, including a small dining room set off the open, main dining room that sports the restaurant’s namesake – an inviting masonry fireplace. Now is the perfect time of year to relax and enjoy the cozy fire while reviewing a menu that features homemade soups, salads, signature sandwiches and house specialties, such as the Chicken Salad Pie, a creamy mixture of white meat chicken, celery, crunchy almonds and cheese baked in a delicate pastry crust.
“We take pride in all the recipes we make,” said Assistant Manager Kat Bostic, who noted that Hearth Room Café’s exclusive signature sandwiches are favorites with both men and women.
A hearty sandwich that has been a popular customer pick is the Ranchers Beef, which is built on ciabatta bread and topped with provolone, onion straws, chipotle aioli and pepperoncini. The Tuscan Chicken is another best seller and an original Hearth Room recipe that layers house-grilled chicken breast, spinach artichoke dip, bacon and red onion on ciabatta and is grilled to meld the favors. The grilling is a simple touch that adds that wow factor to the Tuscan Chicken, as is the steaming of the sweet tomato-flavored tortillas used to make Hearth Room’s wraps.
“We also offer a full breakfast menu every day that has everything, running the gamut from fruit and yogurt parfaits to the Eggs Benedict that are sauced with the best hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted,” Ojile said. “This December, we’re also expanding our menu, adding six or seven new signature sandwiches, three salads, more appetizers and pizzas. We also have a separate catering menu that we offer.”
The Hearth Room Café’s catering menu is as impressive and extensive as the general house menu. Listed among the choices are classic selections, such as the Prime Rib with Horseradish and the Chicken Picatta, and gourmet specialties, like Tenderloin Medallions with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce, Shrimp Scampi, and Chicken Oscar.
“We cater corporate and private events – on-site, off-site and in-home catering. We do it all,” said Bostic, who shares her passion for the Hearth Room Café with Ojile, who is her mother. “Cooking is our passion.”