We had reservations to go somewhere else but our dinner guests had babysitter problems.  The sitter was already half an hour late and the chances of her showing up were probably slim to none.  Instead of going to the place we had booked for four, Fred and I decided to go sit at the bar at Hearth.

Hearth has been around for a few years.  The owners, who came out of the Danny Meyer empire, have done a fantastic job with Hearth and have recently opened up another restaurant in midtown.  The food is always delicious and creative.  The menu changes daily. 

We sat at the bar and as always, shared.  We began with three appetizers.  New Zealand Snapper Crudo.  5 pieces of raw fish with sitting in a zesty lemon olive oil with a sprig of rosemary on top.  Delicious.  Served on a white rectangular plate, drenched in olive oil is a salad of fava beans, spring onions, pepperoncini and small cubes of pecorino seasoned with oregano.  This was a nice spring salad.  The fava beans were fresh and popped in your mouth.  The last appetizer was an artichoke salad.  Tiny braised artichokes, sliced in half and served over a mixture of cranberry beans and Parmesan with a little black truffle puree.  Again, the beans were fresh and the combo of all the tastes worked really well.

Two main courses.  3 small round pieces of roasted pork loin and another small round piece of spicy pork sausage served over a medley of lentils, celery root, pears all cut into the same size cubes mixed with whole pearl onions.  Simple.  The spicy sausage made the dish more complex.  A huge bowl of lamb pappardelle mixed with black olives, tomatoes, red wine and oregano.  Very rich and almost a little too dense.  I liked how the lamb was sliced into thin slices through out the sauce vs. ground.  Different and certainly tasty.  This could have been a winter meal.

Dessert was inevitable.  We had a rhubarb compote with a piece of brown sugar cake.  The cake was sweet and flaky and the tart of the rhubarb worked well with the cake. 

It is such a pleasure to return to restaurants that continue to please.  The spring menu Hearth had last night was the right balance for the weather and the desire to eat a little bit lighter.

We will return again.