NYC — Winter 2015: Hearth

Friday, February 20, 2015
On Monday evening, Austin and I took the subway down to the East Village to meet up with my brother and his girlfriend for dinner at Hearth. They had never been there but it's gotten good reviews and ratings, so they wanted to check it out. It's described as "upscale Tuscan-American" that "features classical dishes that have been given a contemporary spin" with ingredients that support local farmers.

House-Made Charcuterie

We started off with the charcuterie to share, feautring rabbit ballotine, duck ham, whipped lardo, pork rillette, smoked veal tongue, pig's head terrine, chicken liver paté, and pickled vegetables, with grilled bread and beer mustard on the side. My brother loves charcuteries because it allows everyone to taste many different types of meats prepared in different ways that you wouldn't normally get, and they're made fresh in-house. Highlights for me were the veal tongue, pig's head terrine, and whipped lardo. As my brother's girlfriend pointed out, "Is there anything better than spreading whipped fat on buttered bread?" 

Braised Octopus

For my appetizer, I decided to get the braised octopus, which turned out to be my favourite dish of the night. It's paired with crispy celery root, crunchy cabbage, and blood orange, all of which beautifully complemented the most tender, flavourful, perfectly cooked piece of octopus that I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I offered some to Austin, who had never eaten octopus before, and he was like, "How have I been missing out on this my whole life?" My brother, who has eaten many octopi, even commented on how well-executed it was. I know Hearth changes their menus frequently, but this is one dish that they should keep on permanently. 


My main course of the evening was the pappardelle, which they were serving with braised duck, olives, soffritto, and rosemary. For some reason, I am mildly obsessed with pappardelle, so that if it's on the menu, I always have to order it. The pappardelle at Hearth is fresh, cooked on the firmer side of al dente, and beautifully coated in duck ragù with generous pieces of tender braised duck, and tossed with olives, rosemary, and parmesan — flavours that are quite strong on their own, but work perfectly with the mild duck meat and fat ribbons of pasta (I love pappardelle for its ability to hold on to flavour). Of course, I was so damn full half-way through the pasta (charcuteries, even split among four people, are deceivingly filling) that I couldn't even finish it. Overall, great fresh food cooked in classic ways but paired with interesting ingredients, fantastic service that is attentive, friendly, and casual, and a very warm, cozy atmosphere in a surprisingly spacious room made for an excellent dining experience — one that I would especially recommend if you're looking for comforting Italian food with American sensibilities.

403 E 12th Street
New York, NY 10009
(646) 602-1300
4 comments on "NYC — Winter 2015: Hearth"
  1. i'm slowly coming around to 'charcuterie boards. i don't know...they just never appealed to me for a while. i guess i'd rather have a lot of one thing then small amounts of different things?
    oh parpadelle. i have it so infrequently but there's something about a wider noodle that's really satisfying.

    1. Oh, I'm the total opposite -- I like trying a lot of different things in small portions over a LOT of one thing, which I can tire of easily. If you had a lot of one thing in any charcuterie board, you'd probably wanna gag because they're incredibly filling in large amounts.

      And yes, I totally favour wider noodles. Even with Asian noodles, I prefer udon or broad rice noodles.

  2. DYYYYYYING! Everything looks and sounds amazing. What's the price range like? I'm putting this on my list of places to try the next time I go to NYC.

    1. It averages to about $50 - 60 a person, more if you're drinking. But well worth it; everything was so tasty! :)


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