Hey guys, remember that time where I had the fortune to sit in on a staff meal at Hearty & sample all their amazing additions to their Spring menu? No? Silly internet generation. What with your forgetting things before you’re even told about them.
Ok. I’ll refresh your memory.
A few days ago, @heartyboys posted this tweet:
Being a smart girl who loves a good meal, I quickly shot off an email that pretty much consisted of “pick me! pick me!”. For some reason Steve did. I’m unclear as to his logic, but I’m grateful for it.
Yesterday afternoon I was the lucky guest at Hearty staff meal and got to sit & listen to Dan explain each dish off the new menu, and then taste it. I’m going to walk you through my afternoon course by course. You’re going to read and be jealous, because while I was doing this you were in an office. Have I mentioned how much I love working for myself?
First thing to know: staff meals are hilarious. I mean, I suppose that depends on the staff, but the guys I sat near at lunch were adorable & funny & (I’d imagine) really good at their jobs. They certainly made me feel more comfortable. Want to make a great meal more enjoyable? Listen to someone discuss how he’s going to host a drag party called Umami Dearest.
I’ll stop talking now. Just look at all this.
Grilled Caesar Salad — Grilled romaine • parmesan filled French toast crouton • Worcestershire brittle
What a start. The crouton. OMG you guys. The crouton.
Beet Carpaccio — Raw shaved beet (candy stripe, golden, red) trio • baby greens • crispy goat cheese • extra virgin olive oil • red Hawaiian sea salt
Prettier than it appears here. Delicate & tangy.
Crispy Chicken Livers — Roasted garlic • cherry gastrique • grilled sourdough • microgreens
Do you like livers? Do you want to learn? This is a great starting point. Cornmeal coated they were so crispy.
Spinach Salad — Cage free poached egg • fried shallots • house smoked molasses bacon, panko crusted portabella mushroom
You read the description. You see this picture. The taste was better than both of them.
Hey @leahjones! SKA Brewing! ESB Special Ale
Buffalo Shrimp Basket — Celery root/carrot salad • blue cheese dip • chipotle cinnamon house potato chips
That’s right. Blue cheese & not ranch. As Anchor Bar intended. While everything in this dish was good, the potato chips were the star. Eyes bulged around the table as people tasted these.
Ramp Chicken — Seared French chicken breast • ramp butter • creamed corn & ramps • potato sticks
These ramps are as homegrown as homegrown can get folks. Dan said they come from behind his house in MI. A clear favorite for me.
Steak & Fries — Grilled Flat Iron steak (in a lime/cilantro marinade) • pistachio butter • polenta fries • sauteed lima beans
Patterson is going to love this. So will every other steak lover.
Beef a Roni — Braised shortribs • Old Kentucky Tom spaetzle • roasted butternut squash & tomato • fried onion
Meltingly tender. Falling apart soft. And the best spaetzle I’ve ever had.
White Marble Farms Pork Chop — Bacon/shallot spoonbread • whole grain mustard sauce • kale
A gorgeous 10oz. pork chop, sourced locally. Pork chops aren’t my favorite thing, but if I was going to eat one I’d like it to be this good.
IPA Grilled Poussin — Yam & Idaho croquette • bacon wrapped salsify • IPA syrup
IPA marinated. Bacon. Guys — you paying attention? BEER! BACON! #nom
Franks & Beans — Roasted bangers • tomato garlic beans • thick cut house cured molasses bacon • tomato beer biscuit
Everyone has their picky eater friend, yes? Well, if your picky meat eater friend is a meat eater tell them to get this. They’ll be happy they did & it might even get them to branch out a bit in the future.
Stuffed Piquillos — Spinach Port Salut Filling • egg white batter • roasted pumpkin seeds • tomato concasse
For a town that’s so meat-centric, there’s few vegetarian dishes that I’ve seen/eaten that I’ve liked anywhere near this much. After all the amazing food of the that I got to try, this is the dish that I was scouting for so I could have a few more bites.
Rock Shrimp Cake — Rock shrimp • warm tabbouleh salad (made with red quinoa) • grilled sourdough plank • Meyer lemon butter sauce • citrus relish
The one you’ll see on the menu will have 2 smaller cakes instead of one big one. The citrus relish will spotlight a changing variety of citrus. Ours had blood orange, Meyer lemon, ruby red grapefruit, & tangellos.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie — Chocolate • peanut butter • salted caramel • delicious
Just… make sure you order this, ok? If you’re anywhere within a 3 mile radius you should walk there immediately and order this. I’m not a sweets person & I loved it.
Some of the wines we sampled.
I wish I knew more about wine to be more specific. I couldn’t take notes fast enough on these. But you could look them up. Then you’ll know more than me.
So: I’ll be heading back to Hearty sometime very soon & my meal will consist of the Grilled Caesar Salad, the Spinach Salad, (possibly a Buffalo Shrimp Basket, depending on how hungry we are), Ramp Chicken, Stuffed Piquillos, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Maybe 5 of those. And whatever Patterson wants to order. Thanks a ton guys! Any time you want to have me back I’ll happily come hungry & thirsty!!