Hearth

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The great thing about living in NYC is that there are so many restaurants to try, that you could live here for years and still not get to everything. The bad thing about living in NYC is that there are so many restaurants to try, that you could live here for years and still not get to everything. So, you feel really lucky when a restaurant has been operating for years, so that you can still get a chance to dine there. Thankfully, Hearth in the East Village is one of these places, so, I finally got to check it out.

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This Italian inspired restaurant focuses on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, served in a casual, yet sophisticated, environment. All of the aesthetic elements give you the feeling of warmth and comfort, paying homage to the restaurant’s namesake. I went in for brunch, and while the menu sounded great, I opted to go for my own build-a-brunch and ordered a couple starters as my main. First, I had their Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs. Now, I’m not a huge deviled egg person, but I love smoked salmon, so, that trumped the former. I really loved these, and if you enjoy smoked salmon, you’re not going to want to eat a regular deviled egg again. They have a really nice balance of the smoked salmon flavor mixed in the creamy and smooth yolk filling. Then, they’re topped with a little piece of crispy fried fish skin, adding a touch of crunch and texture.

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Then, I had the Balsamic Marinated Eggplant Toast with Ricotta and Basil. These little toast bites were amazing. They might look small, but they’re pretty mighty, topped with delicious and hearty ingredients, they make for an excellent part of your meal, or, as an appetizer to share. The eggplant has a fantastic sweet and slightly smokey flavor, completely tender, and a touch of tang from the balsamic. Then, the creamy ricotta adds a nice richness to the toasts, topped with basil for some fresh herb flavor.

The Shorts:
Name: Hearth
Location: 403 East 12th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. The food was awesome and the staff and service was outstanding.
Would I recommend it? Totally. Everything from the ambiance to the service to the food was on point, no disappointments here at all.

 

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

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Guys, ideal ice cream weather is on it’s way (yeah, we’re pretty much into May and it’s been forever winter in NYC)! Yesterday was the warmest day we’ve had this year, so I had to take advantage and grab some ice cream. They’ve been open just about a year, but I hadn’t made it over until now. So, I got to finally try Mikey Likes It Ice Cream in the East Village. 

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This little ice cream shop packs in a lot of fun and personality. From the friendly team, to the fun flavor names, stemming from pop culture, these guys are turning out a great product with unique combinations. They feature a flavor of the month, symbolized by fun, face cutout clocks posted on the wall of their namesake, like this past month’s, “Moon Walker”, aka Michael Jackson. 

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Everything is made in pretty small batches, so, you have to be quick to make sure you get your favorite flavor before it’s sold out. But, you shouldn’t be too concerned, because all the flavors are really delicious (they encourage you to sample them all, and I’m not one to turn down a free ice cream sample). I went for their Pretty in Pink (Mikey Likes It signature strawberry with fresh strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar and freshly cracked black pepper). Fancy, right? It was awesome. I like strawberries, but I don’t usually gravitate to a strawberry ice cream. Until, I tried it. I was really surprised at how much I loved it, choosing it as my scoop to enjoy. The ice cream is rich and creamy, and combined with the fresh strawberries, it really turns out into a luscious treat. You get hints of the acidity from the balsamic, but it certainly doesn’t overtake the flavor. Oh, and they’ve got some mega ice cream sandwiches with Red Velvet waffles. So, that’s next time for sure. 

The Shorts:
Name: Mikey Likes It Ice Cream
Location: 199 Avenue A, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. These guys have a great story, that goes along with a great concept and product. Definitely worth checking out.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Try all the flavors you’d like so you can pick out your favorites and enjoy them as-is, coned up, or sandwiched in between some waffles. I’m coming after you next time, waffles.