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Hearth Review

Sparky | Jul 26, 2005 09:58 AM

Hearth is my new favorite restaurant.

After an unbelievable meal there Friday, I had to go back last night and sit at one of those bar stools that overlooks the kitchen. I got the tasting menu, sat back with a glass of Magic Hat #9 and enjoyed the show.

I started with an amuse of yellow pepper puree. Nothing too special, as it was the same amuse from Friday, but it was warm and tasty. I wonder what the typical turnaround is for an amuse...

Then came the scallop cevice, topped with yellow beets, chanterelles, black truffle pieces and olive oil. The dish came out to be pleasantly sweet. The mushrooms were a perfect compliment to the scallops.

Next was a fava bean ravioli with poached lobster. This was nice and rich, and it complemented the scallops very well. The lobster was succulent and tasty.

Then was a plate of cheese gnocchi, compliments of the chef. It was very simple, with butter, thyme and parmesan, but delicious. I usually don't like gnocchi, but this was well done, and well appreciated.

The star of the show was the kobe beef skirt steak with cipollini onions and spinach. The spinach tasted and felt more like mustard greens than spinach, but the steak was sublime, especially when dragged into the cipollini sauce that surrounded it. The cipollinis themselves were crunchy and tasty, and the beef was done perfectly.

I decided that I would try some cheeses, so my waiter brought me a platter of 8 different cheeses, and he explained what each one was expertly. I chose three, and each came with its own little compliment. On top of that, my waiter treated me to a glass of sherry, which was unexpected and very nice, IMO.

Then, there was a dessert amuse, a sweet corn panna cotta with blackberry compote. I almost laughed when I got it because just the night before, while eating some sweet corn, I wondered aloud if it could successfully anchor a dessert. My dining companions said no way, but i thought otherwise. It turns out I was right. The panna cotta was great. My only complaint was that it came with some kernels on the side that were overcooked and sticky.

Finally, I had a cherry cobbler with almond ice cream. I was not too impressed with this dish, but then again, I don't know if I could have eaten another bite without exploding. So much food!

Overall, I thought this meal was fantastic. From my seat, I could watch the chef carefully and lovingly garnish each dish before sending it out. The service was great and the experience was fantastic. The total cost came to $120 with included a very generous tip, and whenever I come back to New York (my internship is almost over) with a little change in my pocket, you will be able to find me sitting at the "chef's table," ordering the tasting menu.

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