Ok, this was quite the memorable meal for several reasons...
Here's the food review of what I had:
Amuse: Yellow Pepper Soup (in a shot glass)
Very good with just enough kick.
Roasted Quail with Farro, Tomato Preserves and Quail Egg
This was phenomenal. A truly excellent dish and highly recommended. It was the one app that popped out at me and it did for a reason. Seasoned and cooked perfectly and the quail egg was a great tasting addition. Simply a great dish.
Others had the salad and the 4 types of tuna, 2 of which were, as my friend told us, way too salty.
For our apps, we also ordered our sides: Hen of the Woods and Gnocchi. But...to my dismay...the gnocchi was 86'ed. Not happy about that at all...and it could/should have been mentioned by our waitress (will explain later). The Hen of the Woods were fantastic...nothing short of packing a tasteful punch. Wow! Thanks for the heads up on this fellow CH'ers.
In any event...we got an added surprise during the first course. We were sat at, what I presume to be table #1 (behind the host stand and along 12th Street), some man on the street pulled down his pants and pressed his butt up against the glass window where we were eating. I can honestly say that this has NEVER happened to me before and was shocked/appalled at the situation but had to laugh at the oddity. We kindly suggested to Hailey that she disenfect the window and explained to her what happened. She was appalled as well, but relayed to us 2 recent stories about similar incidents: 1) 2 guys eating fried chicken on the street, took said chicken and smeared it on the 1st Ave. windows of the restaurant and 2) a local resident decided to set up shop and stare at the customers inside for over a half an hour. He wouldn't leave, citing that he was happy the new owners set up their "fishbowl" in his neighborhood. The maitre d' also noted that they knew anything could happen when setting up shop in the East Village, but noted that our situation was the "worst yet". So, on to the main courses...
I ordered the Duck Papparadelle and was not dissappointed. It was the best of the dishes, in my opinion, of what our table ordered. The
Pan Roasted Tasmanian Sea Trout with Potato and Leeks was good, but uneventful. The Roasted Black Bass with Fennel, Black Olives and Lemon was actually quite good and I did not sample the monkfish that another friend had tried.
Desserts. 2 of us ordered the Apple Cider donuts, per my suggestion (after reading reviews on this board). One word: Dissapppointing. After all I've heard about these...it was a shock at how bland and dry these were. Simply shocking...AND I looked bad for suggesting them. I ordered the trio of sorbets (knowing that I'd try my wife's donuts): Cranberry, Tangerine, and Pear and was very pleased. A great ending to a great day of eating.
Side notes...our server was pleasant enough but was very slow in getting our dishes to our table, getting us our wine, even taking our orders. Overall nothing spectacular in the service department, but not to say that it was lousy. Hailey popped over briefly and we decided to not ask her for wine suggestions (my friend ordered...and did a fine job although the name escapes me). As for the gnocchi...our server had the gall to say that "had we ordered a minute or two sooner, we'd have gotten the gnocchi" yet it was her lack of attention to us that caused us to miss this opportunity. I felt slighted, but not nearly enough to be upset. Hearth truly is a great place. I loved it there and felt immediately comfortable. I would gladly return, and most likely will soon. The donuts are overrated, the duck papparadelle is great and the room is just right.