Eating at Hearth is an experience in itself. I consider it a “local” restaurant rather than a tourist attraction although I sense that shifted while its Chef, Marco Canora was a contestant on Iron Chef.
Why is it local? My definition of a “local restaurant” is one that offers everything New York City eaters expect but in a way we dream of having it.
New Yorkers like a wine sommelier, local food, professional waiters and the attention of a highly talented chef. At the same time, eating at a white tablecloth restaurant aiming for a Michelin gets old. Fast. It feels too stuffy and uncool.
And this is what makes Hearth a local favorite – the rare combination of being able to talk to the sommelier while Black Sabbath is quietly playing in the background creates a feeling of “having it all.”
I eat at Hearth about once a month and after doing this for about 1.5 years the people on staff know me and my gluten free needs. About 80% of the menu can be made gluten free right off the menu. I always remind them when I make my reservation on Open Table using the comment section to say that “one diner will be Gluten Free.” More about that here.
When I showed up on Saturday one of my favorite waitresses at Hearth, Laura, got really excited to tell me that “Marco has been experimenting with gluten free pasta” and would I like to try it?
I almost fell off my chair when she also let me know that their Veal and Ricotta meatballs pasta DOES NOT have breadcrumbs. I always assumed that these meatballs were out of my reach. I would have ordered them without the pasta had I known!!
I was forewarned that this pasta is made in the same pasta maker used to make regular pasta and that its not designed for someone with a very severe gluten allergy. I appreciated the warning. How did I think this through whether it was ok to proceed? I thought about my own pasta maker and washing it out between uses would be enough for me to feel confident in eating the gluten free pasta. I also do not have a highly reactive gluten allergy like others do – if that is you Hearth is not ready to offer you pasta yet.
Address: 430 E 12th Street
Neighborhood: East Village