Needham has a new, independent restaurant that is similar in name and fare to the chain it replaced: Stone Hearth Pizza Co. at 974 Great Plain Ave. shuttered, and chef Ivan Millan-Pulecio has opened Hearth Pizzeria in its place, Boston Restaurant Talk reports.
Stone Hearth owner Jonathan Schwarz sold the building and business to Millan-Pulecio, who was executive chef at all locations of the chain, according to a press release. A Colombia native, Millan-Pulecio's local resume includes metrowest spots Tomasso Trattoria, Panzano Market, and Rossini’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. He started with Stone Hearth nine years ago as a line manager. In January, the Winchester Stone Hearth closed; the restaurant still exists in Belmont, Allston, Cambridge, and Hingham.
Hearth Pizzeria has been open about a month. It serves up Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas, pastas, paninis, salads, appetizers, and desserts from scratch, like its predecessor, as well as craft beer and regional wines. But as Millan-Pulecio notes in the press release, as executive chef of his own establishment, he can now be more adventurous with his dishes. One example is Hearth's ancient grains salad with quinoa, millet, brown rice, and spinach topped with julienned carrots, beets, roasted broccoli, sliced almonds, and a shallot vinaigrette.
The new Italian eatery, is open daily from 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It offers take-out and catering options in addition to dine-in seating.