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Hearth, Marco Canora's Flagship in East Village - With Chef de Cuisine Luigi Petrocelli and GM Christine Wright


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Speaking of Craft, I was at Hearth this weekend, which is the restaurant of former Craft executive chef Marco Canora. I've never experienced Craft, but Hearth continues the philosophy of Craft: very high quality ingredients prepared simply. It's hard to fault any of the food we had, as preparation and quality was all faultless, but I don't know how excited I was about the place. Maybe I'm just jaded after all the eating out I've been doing, but the food just came across as too simple. An amuse of parsnip soup was pureed parsnip with a little butter and cream. It was fine, but didn't go beyond that. The skate I had was sauteed perfectly and served with a bare hint of vinaigrette and some roasted root vegetables. This was perfectly fine as well. However, I don't know if this is the type of thing I'm looking for when I go out to eat in NYC. These days, you can buy similar quality fish from Black Salt and cook it with some butter and s+p to the same effect, or get some nice vegetables from the farmer's market and roast them. (Though if I lived in NYC, or was up there more, I might enjoy going to Hearth occationally).

Hearth or Craft?

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Hearth or Craft?

Haven't been to Craft, so I can't compare the two, but if you do go to Hearth, be sure to say that you want to sit at "the pass" when making the reservation. You'll be basically sitting at a bar right in the kitchen, with the chef taking your order. It's pretty cool.

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Back to NY for more meetings, work, etc.  dry.gif

But...at least I get to eat well.

On tap this trip:

Hearth
...

Jennifer

 
Hi Jennifer,

Have you been to Hearth before? I'm heading up to NYC this Friday and have a 7:30 reservation there, so any suggestions are welcome! The menu looks great, and I'm looking forward to the apple cider doughnuts if they're anything like the Greenmarket's.

Thanks!

Amy

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I think I may have flirted with the Chef at Hearth. I know I chatted with him but I'm not sure if it was flirting. It's been so long since I flirted...

Anyway, the more important thing is the food.

I had come from a work reception so I wasn't starving. :)

So I skipped the starters and headed straight for the veal breast with sweatbreads and cauliflower. There was also some type of custard/flan. Everything was perfect. (Okay, I would have roasted the cauliflower longer, but that's just me...)

I then had the olive oil cake with bunt sugar ice cream--salty, not too sweet. A great dessert that I'd regretted not ordering the last time I was in.

For a cocktail I had the bitchy hostess AKA the Michelle Yoo, a gin, lemon and ginger mix that was wonderful. And made me think of our poor Nadaya on day 4 of the DC RW.

I had a wonderful time and need to go back when I'm hungrier and not quite so tired.

More on yesterday's meals later--I'm due to go out again in a moment~

Jennifer

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Thanks again to everyone who commented re: Hearth. We had a fantastic meal there Friday night for my brother's 30th; one of the best restaurant experiences I've had in a long time. The beauty of eating out with my family is that we all share our dishes so I got to taste a little of nearly everything.

Dinner started off with an amuse of warm, pureed parsnip, which was a perfect expression of the vegetable: earthy, a little sweet. Wonderful.

For my appetizer, I had the shaved fennel and arugula salad with white anchovies and pickled cippolini onions. There was a gritty component to the plate...couldn't tell if it was add toasted bread crumbs, but other than that, it was deliciously salty with a large number of plump anchovies on top.

My parents had the frisee with gorgonzola, fried shallots and warm bacon vinaigrette, which I passed on due to a dislike of goronzola. They both licked the plate. Brother had the grilled quail with tomato preserves, farro and poached quail egg. What little farro I managed to snare was lovely, coated in the tomato preserves which had melted into a sauce. He picked the bones clean before I could taste the quail, which looked well-roated with a crispy skin.

I had the roasted skate with winter veggies and pomegranate glaze, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Having never had skate before, I enjoyed the soft texture, which played well off the crispy, buttery roasted bottom. The winter veggies had all my favorites (brussel sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots) and the sweet/tart pomegranate glaze gave the dish a bit more depth.

Mom had the monkfish osso bucco with calamari and saffron risotto. The fish itself was firm and sweet, as were the calamari though the risotto was a bit too gummy for me.

Dad had the braised veal breast with rosemary roasted sweetbreads. This was my first time trying sweetbreads and they were outstanding! Crispy on the outside, melting within, with a hint of rosemary. I wouldn't necessarily order them as an entire meal but I did enjoy them.

Brother had the roasted dry aged sirloin. Did not get a chance to try this one as it was a smaller portion than the others and hey, it was his birthday...let the boy finish his own meal. :)

My boyfriend ordered the roasted organic chicken with escarole, cranberry beans and dumplings. Wow, was this salty! It came with a really crisp skin, which I enjoyed, but the oversalting really made this the loser of the bunch. That and overly spongy dumplings.

For side dishes, we split the Hen of the Woods mushrooms and sweet potato puree. The mushrooms were amazing...buttery, crispy, smoky, sprinkled with fresh thyme. Had I known how good they were, I would have ordered my own. The family let me have the last one. And the sweet potatoes? Pure, light, sweet potato-y goodness.

Desserts were the apple cider donuts, goat milk panna cotta, milk chocolate tart and sorbet sampler. The sorbet flavors were true to their flavors (spiced pear, cranberry and the winner, sinus-clearing lemon ginger) and a nice palate cleanser. The panna cotta was okay, not my favorite but the candied kumquats that came with it were a nice, tangy counterpoint.

The two winners were the donuts and the milk chocolate tart with peanut brittle ice cream. The donuts were glazed, warm, dense and tasted more of banana bread but were delicious. My mom and I split these and despite being full, we ate every last crumb. Brother ordered the milk chocolate tart. He fought to eat more of it but we gave him a pass with the sirloin so we each had tastes. Warm, gooey, creamy chocolate encased in a crisp semolina crust with peanut brittle ice cream, it was pure heaven.

I called the restaurant to let them know it was my brother's birthday, and they brought out a lovely plate of mini linzer-torte cookies and gingersnaps. A very thoughtful touch, which he appreciated.

Our waiter was warm and friendly, and the sommelier made excellent suggestions for a table with such varied wine tastes (I can't recall what everyone had, unfortunately). The only service issue was the overly long wait between clearing the dinner plates and ordering dessert, which is a negligible issue in light of the entire experience. Parents treated, so I don't know the total damage.

Hearth's website says they change the menu approximately 4 times a year, so I will definitely be back in the spring.

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I'm staying near Park and 28th, I don't mind wandering a bit, and my office is paying...

Perhaps Hearth would be a good choice. They're located at the corner of East 12th Street and First Avenue with a small bar area as well as seating in front of the open kitchen called the "Kitchen Pass" which would be fun for a lone diner.

The kitchen pass, a first come, first served area, has developed a following as The New Yorker was kind enough to note: "...the best education at this spectacular restaurant can be had simply by taking a seat at the narrow counter that borders the kitchen and asking the chef and co-owner, Marco Canora about everything that he turns out."
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Perhaps Hearth would be a good choice. They're located at the corner of East 12th Street and First Avenue with a small bar area as well as seating in front of the open kitchen called the "Kitchen Pass" which would be fun for a lone diner.

Ah but I have reservations at Hearth for Wednesday night! I should have mentioned that. I think Hearth is probably my favorite place in NY right now.

Jennifer

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My husband and I are going up to New York in February. We absolutely love tasting menus with wine pairings. We would like to do two...one night at a well-known New York restaurant (was thinking Babbo) and the second night at a less formal, hipper place (maybe in East Village, Nolita, etc). I was hoping for something that was more about the wine...and maybe served with small plates? I know this is specific! Any help? If it helps we are in our late 20's.

Depending on the dates you'll be in New York, perhaps one of the February wine dinners at Hearth might be of interest. Just follow the links for more info.

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Also, any good recommendations for places in the East Village, in any price range?

 

Hearth. I discovered it through this thread and can say that the praise it receives is undoubtedly justified. The owners of Hearth also have a very cozy wine bar nearby, called Terroir. Good small plates and sandwiches and an eclectic wine list.

Our previous night's dinner was at Hearth, and we had somewhat mixed feelings about it. The space was comfortable and the service good, but the components of the different dishes didn't seem to fit together that well. After an amuse of creamy fava bean soup, I had a fig salad that I enjoyed"”with beets, pine nuts, chunks of bacon and mache. My husband had burrata with a tomato terrine, cucumber, and balsamic. The terrine was made with roasted tomatoes and gelatin, plus cucumbers a few other things. In the few bites I had, I found the texture odd. It was almost like the texture of watermelon, I thought. My husband ate all of it, but he wasn't completely enamored of it.

He had olive oil poached salmon, with cucumber, radish, almond, and calamari for his main course, and I had the roasted Berkshire pork loin. That had some rosemary and sausage and was served with pork belly and yellow and green Romano beans. I didn't try any of my husband's salmon. He liked it enough but wasn't overwhelmed by it. I though the pork loin slices in my dish were fine. The sausage, though, was crumbled finely and didn't seem incorporated well into the dish. I found the beans overcooked for my taste, though I assumed they were intended to be cooked to that degree.

My husband had a glass of chardonnay and I had a glass of pinot noir. I thought the wine service was good. Something just didn't click with this meal. Maybe if we had ordered other dishes it would have been different. I hesitated over roast pork as a midsummer meal, so maybe that was part of it. The only thing I might order again would be the fig salad.

Long weekend spent there with my mother and sister. Since their lives, especially on vacation, don't revolve around where they are going to eat, I knew that I had two chances to eat somewhere that we would all enjoy. That meant nothing fancy dancy, nothing that would take longer than two hours, nothing that would be too adventurous for them. Given those stipulations, and what we could get for reservations, we ended up at Hearth on Saturday night and Public on Sunday night.

In short, Hearth was just short of perfect. Have I had better meals? Of course, but it did its' job, something comfortable for me and my family that would offer everyone great food at a somewhat reasonable price. The setting was perfect for us, homey and bustling, but not loud. The wine list was great, very creative, some pages containing just one wine and a whole lot of verbage about it. Interesting cocktails as well, perfect for the cold weather, one with rye and apple cider really hit the spot. The food was also stellar, everything was cooked just right, standouts included the veal breast with sweetbreads and wild mushroom tagliatelle. We had the gnocchi too and I can say that the gnocchi themselves were the best that I ever had, but I could have gone for a better and more flavorful sauce. I also want to mention the bread because it was great. They don't make it in house, I think that the guy said that they got it from Sullivan Street Bakery, but it was truly great. Dessert was a wonderful ending to the evening with the mini doughnuts the best thing that I ate all weekend long. With tax and tip is was around $350, but that included three drinks before dinner, three appetizers, three entrees, a moderately priced bottle of wine, two desserts and two after dinner drinks. $100 per person is clearly doable, which is always nice to know.

Sunday at Public was a different experience, but nearly as good as the one that we had at Hearth. The setting was clearly more trendy, but on a Sunday night it was good for us, not too busy and easy to hear one another. Very interesting space and lots of good looking people all around, even on a Sunday night. Service was better than we had at Hearth, but I would have to give Hearth the edge as far as the wine list was concerned. I felt that Public had some good choices, but it seemed pricey to me, much more than a casual diner would ever spend on a bottle of wine. That was fine for me, but I don't like that feeling that I am getting jacked just because I want to drink wine. Anyway, food was great, monkfish cheeks and lamb were the dishes of the evening, also liked the fried oyster appetizer as well. Bread service was awesome, four choices, all flavorful, all warm when served. Dessert included a nice red velvet cake with a chocolatey twist on it. Overall it was $440 for five people - one drink, two bottle of wine, one espresso, one dessert wine, four appetizers, five entrees and three desserts. Ended up being less per person that Hearth, but I think that we had less per person as well, they are probably on par with one another from a price perspective.

Overall, in a city of 20,000 restaurants, it always is tough picking just the right one for the occasion. But I am glad to say that this weekend we picked two great ones, ones that I would clearly recommend to anyone that is thinking about heading up to NYC for the weekend.

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I wanted to add a plug for Hearth, since I have time, and it was great.

I got the 6 course tasting menu loosely paired with wine (I wasn't sure I could handle 6 half pours with a long night ahead). I left it totally up to the waitress and chef as to what I ate and drank, because that's much more fun...

I won't describe every dish or pairing, because they were flawless. Even the bread, a multi grain and a sesame were deeply satisfying (and the waitress thoughtfully heated the butter just a touch). The only complaint is that the meat course (while beautifully cooked despite the thinnes) was a touch salty. The wine list was extensive, and I had 3 half glasses that were exceptional alone, and with the food. I ended with a 100% chocolate bite, and a calvados.

Also, the service all around was great. All were warm and friendly. The waitress was warm and engaging - I had to hug her at the end of the meal. A seriously enjoyable dinner by a lone diner.

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