Hearth, NYC 3

September 29, 2015

Hearth is now twelve years old. Pete Wells in The New York Times explains: “It thrived not because it cruised along in the tail winds of a nomenclature fad, but because it diligently looked the other way as fads came and went.” On August 24, 2015, I returned to Hearth for dinner with Kent and Russell.

We were seated near the back corner at a nice table. This was the view from my seat. The restaurant did not become even half-filled on this Monday evening in late August. The noise level was very pleasant.
hearth 002 (480x172)


We ordered the Tasting Menu with wine pairings. All of the dishes we received were also shown as à la carte offerings, except the dessert, and so I have been able to show their titles below. 

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The amuse-gueule was a small glass of gazpacho with a dab of lime yoghurt. It was quite a complex gazpacho, more than necessary, but the seasonal tomato base was good.


The wine for the apéritif, gazpacho and the soup was
Totus Tuus Cava Brut Método Tradicional. Refreshing.
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The first course was
Pine Nuts, Parmesan, Basil
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This sounds quite ordinary, but it had a nice flavor and the parmesan bits sparked it up.

Pole Beans, Cauliflower, Potato, Pickled Red Onions, Basil, Garlic
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The “potato vinaigrette” was too strong. It was absorbed by the softer vegetables and obliterated them. The green beans could withstand it and were good.
It did no favors to the unusual wine served with this: a Riesling from Barolo territory. 
Langhe DOC Riesling Pètracine from G.D. Vaira.
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Purple Barley, Radish, Cucumber, Salmon Roe
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The Alaskan King salmon had a good flavor enhanced by the roe, but the vegetable garnishes seemed a bit slapdash.
The wine was a Provençale rosé.
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Zucchini, Parmigiano, Tomato, Basil
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This seemed like an authentically homemade, seasonal, Italian pasta course. Very nice.
The wine was a Barbera d’Alba, a good match.
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Creamed Corn, Market Peppers, Crispy Potatoes
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The chop had a luscious, meaty flavor. The seasonal vegetable garnishes were well matched and well prepared.
The robust red wine was made by Viñátigo on the Canary Islands from the Listán Negro grape.
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The dessert was warm, fresh beignets with a plum sauce for dipping.
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The dessert wine was a well aged vin santo from Tuscany. It was delicious.
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On the way out we looked into the kitchen.
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The bar by the entrance was not busy.
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We had an enjoyable evening. The service always friendly and efficient; the pace was just right; the ambiance in the mostly empty restaurant was pleasant with little noise or distractions.

Except for the vegetable salad, the cuisine was good, mostly a mélange of Italian and seasonal locavore. It was striking afterwards to look at my blogpost for my meal at Hearth two years before. The first four courses were all in the same theme: zucchini soup, warm vegetable salad, King salmon and little pastas. The garnishes ranged from almost the same to noticeably different, but they seemed to show more care and interest then than they did this time. I hope that the chef is not losing interest and that this is simply a summer lull. Continuing on cannot mean paying less attention. As we learned in The Leopard: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”


To see our meal at Hearth two years ago click here.

4 Responses to “Hearth, NYC 3”

  1. Sam Spektor Says:

    Very sad to see that Vaira in the Langhe is trying to produce Rieslings. Just another case where someone goes beyond his/her sphere of competence.

    Michael, what year was that Barbera?

  2. Jürgen Gräßer Says:

    The best food-blog at hand, by a long chalk. Thanks ever so much.

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