03 March 2006


Had dinner at Hearth on 12th St. and 1st Ave. last night with some friends from Japan and some coworkers. We had the tasting menu. A really nice meal, though for the $75, I'd rather go back to Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar for their tasting menu. I chose the wines... then found out later that one of my Japanese friends was a wine buff and probably could've outselected me with one hand tied behind his back. The wine list was challenging. There weren't any slam dunks and there were lots of bottles over $300, which is just dumb. Anyway, here's what we had:

  • Lobster, blood orange, truffles and m√Ęche. Wine: Josmeyer Le Dragon Alsatian Riesling. This was good, but I still don't get the trend for pairing seafood with strong citrus, like I had at Sushi Samba. It overwhelms the flavor of the fish/shellfish.
  • Striped bass with lentils, fennel and red wine reduction. Wine: Trousseau (can't remember the vineyard, but it was light like a pinot noir, but with more tannin than I would've liked for the food. A very nice merlot like Duckhorn would actually have been better because it would've been softer.) This was very tasty and earthy. A nice blend of flavors.
  • Rack of lamb with lamb osso buco and rappini. Wine: Mr. Riggs Shiraz Voignier, Adelaide, Oz. The wine was strong and stood up to the lamb. Again, not an ideal choice, but a good learning experience. The rack was tasty but fatty. Didn't mention the provenance of the lamb, so probably not Icelandic or New Zealand. The shank (osso buco) was fantastic. Salty, savory, greasy, comforting. The rappini was great, too. The best part of this course was the look on my Japanese friend's face when at my prompting he sucked the marrow out of the bone and got a mouthful of, well, fat. Expensive fat, but fat nonetheless.
  • Two desserts: passion fruit panna cotta with huckleberry compote and almond cookie. Very nice. Coconut souffle with ganache poured into it. Very rich. My dining companions didn't finish theirs. I finished mine.
Overall a very good meal, but again, if I was looking to blow $250 on dinner, I'd go back to Jack's in a heartbeat, and Hearth only if Jack's was booked.

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