The East Village needed a Hearth—an upscale yet relaxed place that wasn’t just another surprisingly good ethnic hole-in-the-wall. Skirting the small-plate trend, the hearty fare is big, rich and flavorful. Roasted and braised domestic lamb with lamb sausage, buttercup squash and chanterelle mushrooms is an excellent version of lamb three ways, and roasted sturgeon with prosciutto, sweet potatoes and sage is a novel treatment of this luxurious fish. There is a small hearth in the restaurant, but the real warmth comes from the staff, which takes pains in helping you pick the right dish, and is equally interested in finding out afterward what you thought of it.
403 E 12th St
|Cross street:||at First Ave|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Thu, Sun 6–10pm; Fri, Sat 6pm–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: L to First Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $27. AmEx, DC, MC, V|
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Hearth is a perfect restaurant for a date or with friends. It brick walls and inviting ambiance is welcoming upon arrival. Sit at a table or get a seat at the open kitchen to see the chefs at work. Local ingredients and a seasonal menu ensure that get the freshest ingredients available for each meal. Your meal is usually started with a complimentary hot or cold shot of pureed vegetables and a delicious choice of bread. For appetizer, I have got the roasted quail and quail egg, which is quite filling despite its size. There are sharing platters for the entree as a tasting menu. I have tasted both their pastas and meats. The homemade pasta is always exquisite. The meats, such as the veal meatballs are rich in flavor. My guest, a cook from Vermont, had the grilled skate and was blown away and inspired. Hearth brings the warmth inside and out.