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#31 Orik

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 07:58 PM

I think there's a tendency to undervalue food that simply tastes good. Maybe we forget the skill in execution it needs to prepare a good bit of fish that stands on its own without many detractors--puree of this, glazes with x,y,z.

What you can forget after living here for a while is that the perfect preparation of fish is only one component in creating a great dish. It stands on its own, but it would be better with the puree of this and the reduction of that.

omni -- I think that at this point I can safely say that you like places where you can interact with the kitchen... Ali, Hearth, Jewel Bako... :)

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#32 yvonne johnson

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 08:11 PM

I think there's a tendency to undervalue food that simply tastes good. Maybe we forget the skill in execution it needs to prepare a good bit of fish that stands on its own without many detractors--puree of this, glazes with x,y,z.

What you can forget after living here for a while is that the perfect preparation of fish is only one component in creating a great dish. It stands on its own, but it would be better with the puree of this and the reduction of that.

I may have overstated my case. I didn't mean to imply you just get a bit of very well cooked fish at H. You get accompaniments--e.g., bacalao with cod. My point was that the food is not messed about with and there are not millions of things on the plate and gimmicks (at least this is how they now appear--e.,g, high-rise presentations) are no-where to be seen.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#33 omnivorette

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 08:46 PM

omni -- I think that at this point I can safely say that you like places where you can interact with the kitchen... Ali, Hearth, Jewel Bako... :)

Maybe my nickname should have been "shmoozivorette" :lol:
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#34 Wilfrid1

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 09:45 PM

I wouldn't regard balacao with my cod as a significant accompaniment.

(Smug second-rate-Spanish-speaking bastard that I am :P ).

To be more constructive, do you mean they offer cod as a brandade?

Edit again: Looking at the menu, I see the roast cod comes with something called baccala mantecato. I have no idea what "mantecato" means. Is it Italian?

I am glad you asked, Wilf. It's Venetian for brandade.
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#35 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 10:18 PM

If you think they're easy to make, ask yourself how often you've had perfect ones.

And if you think they're hard to make from potatoes, try making them from sweet potatoes...a real challange if you enjoy that kind of thing.

Thanks, Orik. I will one day. For now, it's quite enough of a challenge to continue to improve my bread baking technique.
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#36 yvonne johnson

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:28 AM

All this talk on Hearth partly prompted a fourth visit tonight. Got there soon before 6PM and got seated at the "pass".

Started with a Huckleberry Gin. Not bad. Gin with ginger ale, lemon and some berry concentrate. Hesser appeared to like it a lot. A tad sweet. More sweetness to come.

I started with the marinated sardines. These were wonderful specimens, three of them around 3-4 inches long. On top were some frissee and the tiny cubed julienned veg they do so well here. As I ? commented before, without a microscope you'd mistake these miniscule works of art for tiny fish roe. I thought they (actually Canora) may've been just a touch heavy-handed with the olive oil, but small point. G had the beef consomme with very small thinly round slices of asparagus and marrow. This was superb as omni suggested earlier.

Next, I had the monkfish osso bucco & saffron risotto. Boy, was this rich. I liked the dish, the competing flavors of the monkfish tomato sauce and the very saffron-y risotto were nice to begin with, but I found hard to take after a while. The thin rings of ultra tender squid in the rosotto added a nice touch. G had the lamb, I didn't have much so I'll leave it to him for comment if he wants to.

Cheeses to end, four small pieces as last time--just enough.. The highlight was a Bayards Gourmet(?) triple creme. Maybe someone can help me out if they know what it is.

I had pound cake with kumquats and vanilla ice cream. [Apart from the panna cotta with berries that is not on the sweet side, I've not gone for the desserts at H.] The pound cake was very sweet for my liking (not unlike the doughnuts I tasted previoulsy) and I found the ice cream fatty (not unlike the cheap makes one gets on both sides of the Atlantic) rather than creamy/milky. But, hey, I couldn't really care about desserts, so no major points taken off.

A very nice meal. Not as good as the previous 3 ones but this can be put dowm to me choosing my first choices on the menu on prior visits and I probably, by going for untried dishes, limited myself this time to dishes that were not going to be favorites.

Oh, we went for the An from Mallorca that was highly recommended by omni and dilettantepicure. Very good, earthy and well bodied.

I've probably gone on enough, but just a few more points. The service was excellent; correct balance between friendliness and professionalism; it was interesting and mesmerizing to watch the chefs at work esp the fish chef (who appears to be in trance) and a pleasure to converse with the head chef himself. I think one gets a more relaxing experience in the dining room proper but it was very interesting to be seated in this spot.

(As for balacao and mantecato and brandade, I'll let Wilf converse with Wilf ;))
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#37 omnivorette

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 04:00 AM

"Fishman," as I like to call him. I amuse myself by trying to make him laugh. Sort of like annoying tourists heckling the guards at Buckingham Palace :rolleyes:

Did you notice that he trims the pink pieces of trout before he plates them - he cuts the ends off? And he THROWS THEM AWAY. Once (and only once) I convinced him to give some of the ends to me to eat. Crispy, oily, delicious.

Glad you liked the An. I had a glass of the Greek red (on the by the glass list) last night with my consomme. Enjoyed it.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#38 marcus

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:58 PM

Am I the only one that finds that many of the dishes at Hearth are under-conceptualized and that the vegetables on the plate are often an afterthought?

#39 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:58 PM

Am I the only one that finds that many of the dishes at Hearth are under-conceptualized

Could you elaborate, please? Where some find underconceptualization, others find the pleasure of simplicity. Similarly, where some find fully conceptualized dishes, others find overwrought food.

As I think about your question, I realize that the answer is most likely no. Many people probably agree with you that the dishes at Hearth are underconceptualized, including many who like it that way.
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#40 yvonne johnson

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:42 PM

"Fishman," as I like to call him.  I amuse myself by trying to make him laugh.  Sort of like annoying tourists heckling the guards at Buckingham Palace  :rolleyes:

Did you notice that he trims the pink pieces of trout before he plates them - he cuts the ends off? And he THROWS THEM AWAY.  Once (and only once) I convinced him to give some of the ends to me to eat.  Crispy, oily, delicious.

Glad you liked the An.  I had a glass of the Greek red (on the by the glass list) last night with my consomme.  Enjoyed it.

Indeed, fish chef is a serious, determined sort. I asked him one question about his reasons for scoring the mushrooms (which he did in spare moments while mentally keeping note of multiple pans of monk, potato in oven etc) and it looked like he'd to drag himself away from cooking dreamland to talkland. He answered: just to make the cooking better!

When we saw him trim the bright pink trout and throw away the ends, G and my jaws dropped as we turned to each other.

Oh, forgot the gnocci. Light and nice. The addition of sea salt wasn't needed, I didn't think, as it gave them an unexpected crunch in the wrong places.

Oh, just to be comprehensive, the amuse last night was a hot yellow pepper soup in shot glass. A touch more salt needed, but very luscious.

OK, Wilf the cod comes with mashed up scoop of salt-cod and underneath that is a medium slice of potato. Around the plate is scattering of julienned toms, maybe a touch of red pepper also. This is my favourite dish at Hearth.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#41 g.johnson

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:42 PM

Am I the only one that finds that many of the dishes at Hearth are under-conceptualized and that the vegetables on the plate are often an afterthought?

They work for me. I'd far rather have under-conceptualized but well executed food than highly conceptualized but unpleasant food at somewhere like Union Pacific.

Does anyone else think that Canora looks like a young Ron Silver?

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#42 omnivorette

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:46 PM

Funny you should say that, G. I just said that same thing to somebody the other night.

But I think Marco is better looking.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#43 marcus

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:34 PM

As I think about your question, I realize that the answer is most likely no. Many people probably agree with you that the dishes at Hearth are underconceptualized, including many who like it that way.

I don't mind a simple dish if simplicity is the conception. Leaving elements out is one way to accomplish this. What I found at Hearth was that there were additional things on the plate, but that they didn't contribute to the overall dish. This can't be good.

#44 Orik

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:28 PM

I don't mind a simple dish if simplicity is the conception. Leaving elements out is one way to accomplish this. What I found at Hearth was that there were additional things on the plate, but that they didn't contribute to the overall dish. This can't be good.

self quote from a discussion elsewhere

Do you think the mushrooms added anything to that dish? How about the escarole that comes with the lamb? does it do anything but serve as filler? Did the very acidic slaw with the game bird terrine perform better than a gherkin?


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#45 dilettantepicure

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:35 PM

I have only eaten there once - but at the time, my most profpund revelation was that the simplicity of the concepts allowed all the teeny nuances of the few select ingredients to shine... such as the aformentioned yellow pepper soup. ...and the neat yet rustic facial hair...

Did I I type that outloud?

I was, by the way. OBSESSED with makiing Fishman at least crack a smile. If you're with a friend, try saying failrly loudly "Who WAS that Fishman?" and then they say "and we didn't even get a chance to thank him..."
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