Hearth Restaurant in New York city: Review

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Hearth Restaurant HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
New York
Location: 40.730023,-73.983307
Open: Dinner daily
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 646 602 1300
Address: 403 E 12th St
New York, New York, 10009
Country: United States

Hearth in New York represents exactly what we look for in a restaurant. It feels great to walk in to, the staff are obliging and knowledgeable, the food of Marco Canora is soulful and the wine program of Paul Grieco totally impressive. And we feel comfortable there!
Our most recent meal here was a real stunner!
We started with a dense, brooding Ribollita containing black cabbage, white beans and parmesan and lots of bread. The flavour of this dish was incredibly deep. Eating it was just SO comforting. We also had a dish of red wine braised octopus served on a potato ‘risotto’, compressed celery, celery leaves, hot peppers and sopressata. The octopus was almost black - a combination of the red wine and long braising we suspect. It was meltingly tender and very delicious.
Between courses a small of Marco’s famous gnocchi was served. It was served simply with just a little sauce and some salt and pepper. Our table fell silent during this course as we were all stunned by the purity and perfection in front of us. In fact, so impressed were we that we asked if we could see it being made the following day - a request that was immediately granted.
We also thoroughly enjoyed learning about some new wines. We were delighted when Paul offered us a Josko Gravner Ribolla Gialla 2002 as a match for our first courses. This wine is very natural. The grapes are hand-harvested, the vineyard is tended organically and the wine is fermented using only natural yeasts. Some skin contact is allowed to develop extra complexity. This is a beautiful wine.
We then ventured into main courses and switched to red wine. We opted for the suggested red wine from the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. It was a Lagrein made by Ignaz Niedrist from grapes grown in the Gries sub-zone and called 'Berger Gei' after the vineyard. We had tried this grape on a few occasions in the past and always felt somewhat dissatisfied with them. However this one was different, it was deeply-flavoured yet very elegant. In fact it reminded us somewhat of Causse Marines’ Gaillac Sept Souris red which is vinified from Syrah. As it turned out we subsequently found that Lagrein may be related to Syrah. Anyway it was a fine wine and very versatile as it was elegant enough for the chicken dish and strong enough to support a beef dish.
A dish of roast chicken served on polenta was as stunning as always. We have followed Marco’s chicken from Gramercy Tavern to Hearth and have never been disappointed. The Creekstone beef was our other dish and this had it all. There was a braised short rib, some grilled corned tongue, confit heart and bone marrow with broccoli to accompany this meaty masterstroke.
Desserts saw us delighting in a cheesecake made with ricotta and accompanied by braised figs and a pear clafoutis based on spiced Seckel pears accompanied by a Bartlett pear sorbet. Both of these worked brilliantly.
And just a few more words about the wine. The wine list is a 63 page polemic ranging from the virtues of Riesling to a two page discourse on Blue Nun, to a paean to the winemaking of Bartolo Mascarello the master of Barolo to an essay on terroir and its expression at Clos Saron in California. Oh, and the wines are listed as well.
While Paul would never do anything as conformist as set out to create a wine list of only natural wines many spring from the pages of this list. You can start with the Grand Cru Brand Riesling of Francois Baur a biodynamic producer from Alsace, move on to Michel Gahier from the Jura with his amazing Trousseau called Grands Vergers, then to Frank Cornelissen’s Contadino from Sicily, then to Nicolas Joly, then Gravner and on and on we go. So natural wine freaks like us have nothing to worry about here - there are plenty on offer.
On previous visits we tried a wine from young winemaker Franck Peillot from Domaine de Peillot who makes still and sparkling wines from the Altesse grape (also known as Roussette). The still version was a deeply-flavoured, intense, slightly sweet and very interesting wine that worked perfectly with the first courses on that occasion.
One of the wines we also enjoyed was an Elian Daros Laclotte Clos Baquey 2002 from the Cotes du Marmandais. This wine made near the village of Cocumont in France's South West is a good example of what this appellation bordering Bordeaux can produce. Elian Daros is a rising star of the Cotes du Marmandais appellation making big, bold wines that also display elegance and structure. The Clos Baquey is a fine example of his wine, notable for the use of a small but significant percentage of the local grape Abouriou.
Hearth is a classic restaurant serving some of the best comfort food in New York. The food is real, it is genuine and cooked with passion and skill. The wine program here is equally clever and ranges widely across styles and countries, however there is always something to perfectly match every dish.
If you want to order chef Marco Canora's brand new cook book called "Salt to Taste" click on the link below.



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