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Hearth


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On our first visit to Hearth two weeks ago we had the misfortune of Marco's first night off since he opened. The food was very good nonetheless. The service was also good. We were treated very well by Paul Grieco. In fact, when we left we noticed the cheese cart in the window, which we had overlooked when we ordered dessert (It was never suggested to us). We headed back inside and made our way to the cheese cart. By this time Paul was sitting with friends and having dinner. He got up and met us at the cheese cart, and proceeded to offer us a delicious piece of cheese for a night cap. Nice touch Paul.

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I had the veal breast (24). no I haven't read this thread since I last posted on it and didn't read MichaelZ's post. The veal breast plate comes garnished with sweetbreads, and roasted cauliflower and a few other items that played nicely supporting roles. This is really good food. There's no accounting for taste, but it's the kind of food that should have fairly universal appeal. It offers the satisfaction of comfort food although the dishes themselves have an element of creativity or personal statement that make the meal unique. Given the background of those involved in the restaurant, my expectations were very high without needing to read the reviews and praise heaped on Hearth here. Happily these expectations were matched by dinner. The price in respect to quality is excellent.

The octopus cooked in red wine was rather interesting in that had I been served it with my eyes closed I might have thought I was eating meat rather than seafood. I asked Marco if it had been braised in stock by any chance and he said "no." Apparently what I was tasting was the gelatin released by the octopus combined with the reduced red wine. It was intriguingly delicious.

The pannacotta was a superb example in both texture and taste, although I might have liked a slightly more complex dessert. The espresso that followed dessert was excellent and that's worth noting as most restaurant espresso is disappointing.

As Soba wants me to say something about the wine, it was a St. Joseph from the northern Rhone from Bernard Grippa. I was actually looking for something slightly less expensive, but this caught my eye simply because a St. Joseph from Grippa has a nice place in our memories from an dinner close to the St. Joseph region in France. Then I chose it by chance, but apparently it was a pet wine of the sommelier and he made it a point to return to our table later and recommend cheese that would go well with the wine that was left after telling us to be sure to save some wine for cheese.

I entered the room with the preconceived image of large bandages and copper staples, but the abstract pattern of felt and copper on the wall just didn't support that image. I'll give Ms. Hesser credit for creative thinking and poetic license, but I don't really understand why one's mind would go in that direction and if it did, why one wouldn't check the thought when writing a review. The unfortunate thing about the felt on the wall was that it didn't absorb enough of the sound. I felt the room was too noisy. There are no tablecloths and all of the surfaces, other than the felt on one wall, are hard. When the dining room was full, it was loud enough to interfere with conversation for me, but not loud enough for me to consider it a factor when planning a return visit.

Service was very attentive and perhaps a bit too efficient. Soba mentioned the one problem. Our plates were snatched from the table while Esilda was still using her knife and fork. That may have been enough to make us feel a bit rushed although there was no pressure to finish our meal quickly and our espresso was served well after we finished dessert, as we requested.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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As Soba wants me to say something about the wine, it was a St. Joseph from the northern Rhone from Bernard Grippa. I was actually looking for something slightly less expensive, but this caught my eye simply because a St. Joseph from Grippa has a nice place in our memories from an dinner close to the St. Joseph region in France. Then I chose it by chance, but apparently it was a pet wine of the sommelier and he made it a point to return to our table later and recommend cheese that would go well with the wine that was left after telling us to be sure to save some wine for cheese.

I'm glad you were concentrating on the wine, and did not notice that the sommelier was a SHE not a he :laugh:

WorldTable • Our recently reactivated web page. Now interactive and updated regularly.
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As Soba wants me to say something about the wine, it was a St. Joseph from the northern Rhone from Bernard Grippa. I was actually looking for something slightly less expensive, but this caught my eye simply because a St. Joseph from Grippa has a nice place in our memories from an dinner close to the St. Joseph region in France. Then I chose it by chance, but apparently it was a pet wine of the sommelier and he made it a point to return to our table later and recommend cheese that would go well with the wine that was left after telling us to be sure to save some wine for cheese.

I'm glad you were concentrating on the wine, and did not notice that the sommelier was a SHE not a he :laugh:

I was under the impression that Paul Grieco was the sommalier as well as co-owner. As far as I know he put the wine list together and served us when we were there a couple weeks ago. It is a great wine list IMO.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'm glad you were concentrating on the wine, and did not notice that the sommelier was a SHE not a he :laugh:

I was under the impression that Paul Grieco was the sommalier as well as co-owner. As far as I know he put the wine list together and served us when we were there a couple weeks ago. It is a great wine list IMO.

Last night there were two sommeliers, Paul Grieco and a very knowledgeable young woman who approched us while Bux was looking at the wine list. She knew about the St. Joseph Grippa. and spoke to Bux at length. I don't think she was a server, she was wearing a different "uniform" and was not serving only taking care of wine orders and filling up wine glasses. I hope that clears up the confussion.

WorldTable • Our recently reactivated web page. Now interactive and updated regularly.
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For what it's worth and at risk of sleeping on the couch tonight, when I said

this caught my eye simply because a St. Joseph from Grippa has a nice place in our memories from an dinner close to the St. Joseph region in France. Then I chose it by chance, but apparently it was a pet wine of the sommelier and he made it a point to return to our table later and recommend cheese that would go well with the wine that was left after telling us to be sure to save some wine for cheese.

the "he" was the one-armed sommelier in Montrond-le-Bains many years ago where we first had that wine from Grippa. At Hearth, several people asked me about my wine choice, but I believe, as Mrs. B does, that the woman was there to help and guide diners make wine choices, although I seem to remember her wearing much the same outfit, or shirt, as the other servers. I guess I just don't look closely at other women. :laugh: Paul was busy elsewhere in the room and the young woman with whom I spoke seemed well versed and eager to discuss wine. For all I know, all the waiters are well educated in terms of the wine list. I remember Paul's jacket vividly.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dinner tonight at Hearth.

I'm glad to report that the restaurant continues to amaze and astound. Marco's cooking is, as Christopher Walken would say, "da shiznits". :biggrin: If you have not yet been, I urge you, URGE you to reserve now.

The spring menu is definitely in rotation as was evidenced by dinner tonight along with the rest of the menu offerings. I had a seat at the bar in front of the open kitchen and was able to observe the choreography of the kitchen during several service peaks.

Marinated sardines [soffrito crudo, parsley] (11)

The sardines had been slightly pickled in a white wine vinegar marinade, and topped with a brunoise of carrots, celery, onion, fennel and parsley, served with EVOO and frisee. Light and refreshing throughout, with the fennel adding a nice counterpoint to the acidity of the sardines.

Braised veal breast [fiddlehead ferns, morels, spring onion, roasted sweetbreads] (24)

Veal breast is braised in veal stock, white wine, and aromatic herbs -- tender, luscious, simply divine. The sweetbreads were an unexpected touch that just added to the luxuriousness of the dish. Chef Canora sources his ferns from Virginia; the morels are from Turkey.

I was comped an order of gnocchi. A tiny bit too much Parm-Reg there, but still the same consistent quality as my previous visit.

Banana cake [mascarpone frosting, chocolate sorbet] (8)

I wasn't exactly thrilled with this dessert -- although to be perfectly honest, the banana cake works entirely by itself. Nix on the chocolate sorbet; perhaps I had expected it to be less bittersweet -- and if so, that's my own failing. I should have gotten the apple cider doughnuts instead. Oh well, next time.

My wine education continues, although I don't remember what I had except that there was a riesling (with the sardines) and a light to moderate red with the veal.

Total with wine and tea, came out to $70 (includes tax but not tip).

FYI, the spring tasting menu ($48) is as follows:

Marinated sardines [soffrito crudo, parsley]

Tasmanian sea trout [potato and leeks]

Duck leg confit [fava beans, asparagus, shallots]

Yogurt semifreddo [rhubarb soup, rhubarb compote]

Soba

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If you have not yet been, I urge you, URGE you to reserve now.

Braised veal breast [fiddlehead ferns, morels, spring onion, roasted sweetbreads]  (24)

Veal breast is braised in veal stock, white wine, and aromatic herbs -- tender, luscious, simply divine.  The sweetbreads were an unexpected touch that just added to the luxuriousness of the dish.  Chef Canora sources his ferns from Virginia; the morels are from Turkey.

I'm sold, Soba! :smile:

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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wow, soba, sounds great! I intend to visit (by myself) sometime in June, so I was glad to hear that sitting at the kitchen counter was a good experience.

How did you do the wine? A different glass for each course? Was that part of the menu? Or did the sommelier make choices for you?

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It was a different glass for each course. The waitress I had seemed fairly knowledgeable with the wine list and gave good guidance to a non-drinker who's trying to educate himself about wine, like me for example. :wink:

I stated my preferences -- whites over reds, light and fruity over deeper full flavored, and let her guide me from there. Cost was not an issue; knowledge about what tastes good and what went well with what I was having was more of my focus. I'm glad to say that the red in this case didn't turn me off as most reds usually do.

Yes, I'm a lightweight when it comes to wine, but we all have to start from somewhere, eh? :biggrin:

Soba

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Thx soba! I am practically a no-weight when it comes to wine (I grew up drinking homemade wine), and would love to learn more about different pairings. Are we supposed to be ashamed of our inexperience? I'd like to think that we're prejudice-free :)

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As I was making veal breast for passover, I wanted to go back and have a second try at Hearth's version. Did so on Saturday night. Also had their torchon, tuna variations and game bird terrine. All were excellent, none more so than the veal breast. Found a 28 dollar bottle of wine with which I couldn't have been happier. A Madiran.

It was my third visit to Hearth and aside from excellent food, an excellent wine list and fabulous table service (really fabulous), I must make one criticism. Every time I enter the restaurant I encounter a panic of some sort that is followed by a wait long past my reservation time. And I've had company. Usually at least two other parties are standing around tapping their toes and looking at their watches. It's a troubling way to begin the experience, though in no way will it prohibit my return.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 4 months later...

I am finally getting around to going to Hearth this Friday evening and I was curious if anyone has eaten there recently. I searched for threads but I just came up with a Q&A with the chef and some very nice pictures of some of the food.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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I am finally getting around to going to Hearth this Friday evening and I was curious if anyone has eaten there recently. I searched for threads but I just came up with a Q&A with the chef and some very nice pictures of some of the food.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Iwas there last night, and found food, wine and service to be as good as ever For the full current menu, check out their website www.restauranthearth.com. For a first time visitor, signature appetizers include the octopus, calamari salad or the sardines. Any of the fish or meat entrees are superb, and be sure and get the gnocchi and hen of woods mushrooms as sides. For dessert, last night's coconut souffle special was wonderful. The wine list is great, both in its breadth and quality as well as the number of reasonably priced bottles.

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hen of woods mushrooms

how are these prepared? (i'm going here this weekend and am trying to decide what i want to try!)

thx.

Very simply - I think they are roasted, in a way that brings out the intense flavor of high quality mushrooms with none of the sogginess of a saute.

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I ate at Hearth for the first time this past Friday night. Thank you to MichaelZ for providing me with some guidence as to what to order.

The service was very nice, particularly the hostess (cute blonde, short curly hair). I had about a 15-20 minute wait for my 9:00 PM table, but she kept me regularly updated on the status despite being busy herself.

While waiting for our table, myself and the girl I was with had a few drinks at the bar. She really enjoyed her drink of choice, the Jules Verne. It is the first drink listed under the "libations" portion of Hearth's Wine and drink menu. It contains Champalou Vouvray Brut, cantaloupe sorbet and lemonade. It is not my kind of thing, but I tried it and it was pretty good, not too sweet although it gets gradualy sweeter as the sorbet melts.

While overall, my meal was good, my major complaint with Hearth was where I was seated. Next to the main dining room is a narrow long room. The first quarter of the room is the kitchen and a row of seats at a counter overlooking the action. The rest of the room are tables which is where I was seated. I do not mind at all being cut off from the main room, I go out to eat not to see and be seen. However the room is simply too hot. I understand it is near the kitchen, but the restaurant should compensate for that fact. It realy detracts from a meal if you are too warm.

We had three appetizers to start, the roasted quail with faro, cucumber, tomato and quail egg, marinated sardines, and the red wine braised octopus with celery root, potato and celery.

The quail was good, most importantly it was not overcooked as is so easy to do with such a little bird, the meat was a bit pink and moist. Someone at the bar was eating the same dish and her circular mound of faro, cucumber and tomato ws toped by a fried quail egg, ours came with the egg hard boiled and spilt in half. A small matter, although having the yolk to break into the faro would have been much better, a hard boiled quail egg does nothing for me.

The sardines were excellent. They had a beautifuly soft texture and their flavor was not overpowered by their curing, something I have experianced in other restaurants.

The octopus was a big dissapointment. I love octopus in all of its forms, raw, braised, boiled, this was simply bad. I have read very good reviews of the dish, so I will give Hearth the benifit of the doubt and assume I unfortunately recieved a bad peice of octopus. The flesh had a mushy texture and was fishy tasting, two characteristics octopus should not have. I did enjoy the cubes of celery root that came with the octopus. It is one of my favorite root vegetables and not utilized enough in my opinion.

As a main I had the lamb and the girl I was with had the monkfish as the restaurant was out of the pork loin she originally had wanted.

The lamb was good, cooked medium rare as requested. I particularly liked the fact that it tasted like lamb. One of my biggest pet peeves are when meats are bred to where any hint of gaminess is gone and you end up with what tastes like bland beef. The lamb sausage that accompinied the slices of loin was nothing special and dry, however the lamb rib that was also on the plate was fantastic. I would have been happy with a plate of simply that. The meat on the rib had a deep lamb flavor and the meat was unctious, tender and wonderfuly fatty.

The monkfish was good, wrapped in prosciutto, and cooked so that the flesh was very most. I do not order it often, but I do enjoy the firm meat of monkfish.

I had two sides, the gnocchi and the hen of the woods mushrooms. The gnocchi were good, nice and creamy, helped by a generous topping of course ground black pepper. The mushrooms were excellent. Firm, not overly oiled, the base was tender while the frilly top was crisp, and had a deep mushroom flavor. The flavor of the crisp top was earthy and great.

I had a good Argentinian red whose name escapes me and I do not see on Hearth's on line wine list. It was pricey at $96, but had good deep plumb and cherry flavors and rounded tannins.

We were a bit full by the time dessert came around, we opted for the mixed sorbet and mixed ice cream. The sorbet was a scoop of rasberry, honeydew with lime and cantalope. The honeydew with lime was my favorite, very refreshing and not too sweet. The cantalope had a good deep melon flavor. The ice creams were cherry, vanilla and peanut brittle. The vanilla and cherry were ok, the peanut brittle however was very good. The saltiness of the brittle hits you first and, followed by the sweetness of the ice cream.

Hearth is certainly a restaurant I would return to, however I would make a point of specifically asking for a table in the main dining room. It is one instance where I cannot stand the heat in the kitchen.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hearth just keeps getting better. Last saturday night, I had the most flavorful tuna salad there with tender green and yellow beans and fresh red and yellow tomatoes with basil. The appetizer was followed by a light parpadelle in tomatoe sauce and bush basil that tasted of late summer. Monk fish wrapped in prosciutto with eggplants was a similar success. I'm not a big monk fish fan but this one nice and moist with prosciutto lending flavors to the monk fish. The eggplants compliments the fish with a deep smokey flavor that is balanced by the bush basil topping. A peach and blueberry ravioli with peach ice cream provided the perfect end. The whole dinner was a little rustic, not very complicated but definitely delicious.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Temple Bar is a bit far (Lafayette just north of Houston St.) but is a really elegant bar that makes excellent though expensive cocktails (~$13 apiece). [Edit: You won't see its name outside. Look for the door on the west side of Lafayatte with the lizard logo.]

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Unfortunately the area around Hearth is rather grungey. I know because I live on the next block. Your better bet is to catch a drink at some of the more trendier establishments in the Flatiron and then get to Hearth. Try Lucy's or the Flat Iron Lounge or even Batali's Bar Jamon on 17th and Irving. Otherwise, the wine list at Hearth is rather good.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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grungey?

i don't agree (i live 10 blocks from there)

if you go down like 4 streets on 1st ave. there are places

Unfortunately the area around Hearth is rather grungey.  I know because I live on the next block.  Your better bet is to catch a drink at some of the more trendier establishments in the Flatiron and then get to Hearth. Try Lucy's or the Flat Iron Lounge or even Batali's Bar Jamon on 17th and Irving.  Otherwise, the wine list at Hearth is rather good.

Time past and time future

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

- T.S. Eliot

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