First impressions – one chance to reel them in and color their perceptions…to feel a warmth towards you…to want to find out more. And let’s be real here: no one wants people to think negatively about them. I certainly don’t, and perhaps that’s why I am very colorful on the outside…literally. In stark contrast to my more serious side, I have a pretty colorful wardrobe (see Exhibit A). But it may be why the most common word I’ve heard to describe me after an initial meeting is that I’m very “pleasant.” (Shall I toot my horn some more?)
Luckily, my experience at Hearth was nothing less than a number of pleasant first impressions. Some full disclosure – I’ve been to Hearth about four times already, and each time I’ve been impressed with the food. I’ve also been impressed with the extremely friendly and knowledgeable bartender, Kelley (I met her the last time I was there, and she’s definitely a bartender I’d want to share more food and drinks with). But I think this just set the bar super high when I decided to go there to try their famous Chicken Soup with Farro and Dumplings.
I went with one of my absolute bestest friends (practically my sister and twin) tonight, and sat at the bar since Kelley happened to be working (hoorah!). Right when we sat down, we were introduced to Chef Marco who happened to be standing there. I told him about my little adventure, and he was definitely interested in what I thought (for all he knew I was a young-looking food critic). We interacted a couple of times, and each time I thought, “What a cool guy.” I tend to think this of most famous chefs whom I meet – they are genuine, fun-loving people who truly care about customer satisfaction.
When the soup came out, it was a really colorful, rich bowl that just made me eager to dig in. After my first spoonful, I had to consciously stop myself from picking the bowl up and just slurping it up asian-style. It was like a lighter French Onion soup but a bolder traditional chicken soup. The dumplings were not only the perfect size but also the perfect texture (much better than the matzo balls in matzo ball soup). The firm yet chewy farro was a nice complement to everything else…and a nice, unique surprise. That may have been my favorite part of the soup. So, when I was nearing the end of the bowl, I tilted it to make sure I got every…last…drop.
At $10 a bowl, the Chicken Soup isn’t considered cheap, but I do think it’s worth it. Was I colored by my fantastic first impressions? One will never know until you try it yourself.
403 East 12th Street (at First Avenue)
New York, NY 10009
Under $6 – It’s your lucky day!