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.

 

Cookshop

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This past weekend, I had brunch at Cookshop in Chelsea. With summer weather here, whether you sit outside at their outdoor patio, or inside in the airy, open, modern dining room, your experience will all pretty much be the same. Amazing. Their American cuisine is focused on humanely raised animals, support of local farmers and artisans, and seasonal availability of foods. 

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To start, I had their Grapefruit Brûlée (ruby red grapefruit, brown sugar, creme fraiche, mint). So, yeah, you gotta get this if you’re there for brunch. It’s the perfect, light starter, or, makes for a great, healthier dessert. The tartness of the grapefruit is cut from the crisp brown sugar and the whipped, creaminess of the slightly sweet creme fraiche. Everything goes so well together, and leaves you wanting some more. 

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For my entree, I ordered the  Frittata (roasted oyster mushrooms, stracciatella, basil-walnut pesto). This was another amazing dish. Served with a little bed of perfectly dressed mixed greens atop the eggs, this frittata was a slam dunk. The roasted oyster mushrooms were the star of the dish for me, tender and flavorful, and, when combined with the other components, each flavor and texture enhances the next. The stracciatella cheese marries the mushroom and the herby and nutty pesto so nicely, it’s a bit of a sad moment when it’s all gone. 

The Shorts: 
Name: Cookshop
Location: 156 Tenth Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Without a doubt. The food was incredible and the service was outstanding. 
Would I recommend it? I recommend it like dentists recommend brushing your teeth. And, the location is great too, right across the street from the High Line. So, have a fantastic meal, then take a walk along the High Line and enjoy what the view of the west side has to offer.