Hearth’s Gluten Free Pasta – Exciting Update

Veal and Ricotta Meatballs Gluten Free PastaEating 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

Website: http://restauranthearth.com/ 

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Hencho En Dumbo Tasting Menu Gluten Free

Hencho en Dumbo tasting MenuHencho En Dumbo. Saturday Night. Tasting Menu. Perfect.

Let me tell you a secret about Hencho’s Chef’s Menu / Tasting Menu: Its the perfect place for someone to go who is gluten free, wants to experience authentic Mexican food, and enjoys interacting with Chef. In other words – its one of the few places in NYC that you can actually speak to the cooks while you are eating.

You are seated at a counter that surrounds the cooks who are actively preparing everyone’s meal. Its you, face to face with her asking for a gluten free meal. The lead in the kitchen that night was affable beyond belief when I gently reminded her that something came out that I could not eat (this only happened for me with desert). She easily glided to another selection.

This personal connection really made the meal for me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable like I do at times when something comes out from the kitchen “wrong.”  SURE – The menu from the start is about 95% perfect most nights. The amount of modifications during my dinner were precisely 2 small changes (removing a crisp cookie on top of the desert and not breading one piece of fish) out of 6 courses. But, it was great to have this connection and be in the flow of the food as it came to me.

 

Hencho en Dumbo Cold Salad

The first course was amazing cold salad with perserved peppers, thinly sliced fresh mozerella, avocado, and finished with a delicate and very light cream sauce. I enjoyed this course and most others with the Txakolina which is a basque wine that worked will with all of the dishes for the most part. At the end I should have steered to something heavier.

 

Hencho en Dumbo Shrimp Beans EntreeThe second course was a combination of shrimp, roasted red peppers, octopus, and beans. The sauce was very light and the whole thing came together in an exceptional way. It felt like there was tomatillos in the sauce and perhaps a slight addition of beans.

 

 

 

Hencho en Dumbo Crispy Black BassThe fourth course was the first sign of a change – my husband eats gluten so his came out crispy while my fish was simply broiled. It didn’t matter. The black bass with set in a sauce of lentils with intense flavors of cumin and other spices. Carmelized onions and mushrooms also served as a base.

 

 

Final course was a treat - I do not like anything MUSHY. So instead of the flan dish they brought out a flourless chocolate cake. :–) I will return to enjoy the carmel, hazelnuts and fudge they added to the dish. It was amazing.

Make your reservation herehttp://www.hechoendumbo.com/

Neighborhood: East Village

Address: 354 Bowery

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