This weekend was a flurry of activity. By the time I got back to the comfort of my apartment Sunday after a few days away, the last thing I wanted to do was bundle back up and head to brunch. Duty calls, and I begrudgingly acknowledged my upcoming trip home for Thanksgiving, leaving me no time to brunch the rest of the month.
Needless to say, I was grumpy. But within one second of entering the toasty restaurant and joining my friend Christine, my mood was instantly lifted and brunch became a joyous occasion once again.
Hearth was a dark, cozy escape from the freezing temps outside. We sat immediately despite our lack of reservations and were greeted with two complimentary chai tea latte “shots,” a warm welcome to the main event.
The atmosphere wasn’t notable and I usually prefer the sun-drenched to darkness. Exposed brick walls, minimal windows, pink ceilings, and seasonal centerpieces decorated the restaurant, but this wasn’t an interior I’d remember.
Noting and appreciating the La Colombe Torrefaction caffeinated beverages, I ordered a latte and Christine ordered a cappuccino respectively; both were solid. We also decided on the apple cider doughnut holes starter, feeling festive thanks to the rapid change in weather. I’m a sucker for anything seasonal and these doughnut holes were warm, covered in powdered sugar, and adorned with a delicious cinnamon glaze.
Christine ordered the tomato and eggs, unsure what to expect from a dish that could go many different ways. We were pleasantly surprised by the two eggs poached in a delicious baked tomato sauce, paired with a rustic toasted broad to soak up all the sauce. I wouldn’t advise ordering if you’re averse to tomato, as it leaned more heavily on the tomato than the egg, but we both loved it.
I couldn’t say no to the brioche French toast for our second selection. Three generous brioche slices were adorned with a caramelized banana topping, a nutty crunch, powdered sugar, and a drizzle of maple syrup. I’ve seen and sampled this dish elsewhere so it wasn’t necessarily inventive, but it was perfectly executed and delicious.
We ended up closing down the brunch service, thanks to our friend calling at the end of brunch to announce her engagement(!), yet we didn’t feel rushed in the least despite being the last table seated and got no eye rolls when we cheered in celebration.
When all latte foam had been drained and there wasn’t a doughnut hole left, we finally made moves, content from a delicious brunch and a comfortable way to spend a few hours.
The Bitches say B. Go to Hearth for a good brunch in the East Village, and expect yummy but unsurprising dishes in a laid back setting.
403 E 12th St.
New York, NY
Hearth serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.