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Pick One

Trying to decide between 3 old-timers I haven't visited yet.

Casa Mono
Hearth - I don't see the famous Gnocchi on the menu
Crispo - Carbonara. That good? Doesn't look very traditional

For this Sat night, with 2 adventurous young teens. Not too dark

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  1. Crispo is definitely the most family friendly but probably the least exciting. I'd go with Hearth if you think the kids are up for it.

    1. Don't know about the other places.. But I love hearth, their pork ragu is amazing.. And their gnocchi should be on the menu as a side dish.

      1. casa mono is the only place here that excited me.

        hearth has sadly been dumbing down their offerings ever since the rent increase. i think they had a fried chicken 4th of july thing...very sad. also, there food is too heavy for summer if you ask me.

        crispo is meh.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sam1

          I agree 100% with sam1.
          Casa Mono is the only one that entices me. Hearth is good but boring, and Crispo is a small step above mediocre.

          1. re: Barcelonian

            Strongly disagreed on Crispo, but it isn't too adventurous.

            1. re: Pan

              i'm also a big fan of Crispo. i was there last night and can say that the food is at least three very large steps above mediocre. i had duck with brussels sprouts and potato croquettes, all of which were perfectly cooked and well portioned.

              1. re: coasts

                I always order the duck when I go there. My favorite pasta is the butternut squash ravioli, which I also always order.

        2. It may not be the most exciting, but we have enjoyed our many meals at Crispo over the years. Haven't been to the others so can't compare, but I think Crispo gets bashed unfairly on this board, usually being compared to places that are substantially more expensive. Order whatever looks most interesting and you will not be disappointed. It's excellent value for the money.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rrems

            1. Really enjoyed Casa Mono. Most interesting of the three. Been awhile.

            2. Hearth. I have not been, SO has been many times. The Hearth Manifesto:


            3. I haven't been to Crispo in ages. Good food, good value last time I went. It works when you have a group with different tastes and budgets. Thanks to hounds suggestions, we went on a weeknight. Probably the darkest of the three. OP requested "not too dark."

          2. If the kids are adventurous (and you can get in) i vote casa mono. Everyone loves the razor clams a la plancha and their duck egg potato dish (lomo saltado con papas?) is great. Nice wine list with a few hard to find spanish cidras too
            I really liked hearth, just felt more like where i would bring my kind of picky not adventurous relatives more than somewhere i would frequent. Amazing wines though

            1. 1. Casa Mono 2. Hearth 3. Bar Primi

              1. In this order:

                1. Casa Mono - most inventive, with plenty of memorable dishes. The best Spanish wine list in the country, imo. Tough to reserve, though.

                2. Hearth - Very good pasta and fish dishes. Well thought out fresh ingredients. Very good all-around wine list with A+ for geekiness.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RCC

                  If they do walk in right when casa mono opens for dinner they would hopefully be able to snag the bar seats in front of the open kitchen, which i think are the best seats. (The cooks are not especially chatty since they are usually really busy)

                2. All 3 were available last night for 7:30 and I snagged Hearth, oh well. Casa Mono no longer available.
                  Last time I had Hearth resvs, I cancelled at the last moment after Kathryn posted a picture of the Ssam mushrooms. So unless Kathryn posts any more pictures, Hearth it is for saturday.

                  Though Bar Primi sounds intriguing as well -- heard it mentioned here too many times.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ziggy41

                    I'm getting my Primis and Pittis confused again. never mind that last part

                  2. Thanks for the responses everyone!

                    We had a fun dinner at Hearth. No regrets whatsoever but I now know what you mean about it not being terribly exciting. Amazing wine list that requires a bit of studying ahead of times. Most dishes I felt were about $5-10 overpriced
                    For anyone that cares here's a quick rundown of what we tried

                    Ricotta Sformato - Very good mix of Roasted Broccoli, Pine Nuts, Cauliflower, Spigarello and ricotta. Really enjoyed this

                    Grilled Quail - Expertly cooked quail with rosemary, but what stole the show was the accompanying salad of Faro, Cucumber, Onions, Quail Egg, and very nice tomato preserves that tied everything together. I would order just that

                    Rigatoni with pork Ragu - Outstanding! Not your typical heavy ragu. Came with peas, ricotta and more rosemary, as if fellow Tuscan Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi came to visit

                    Spatchcock Spring Chicken ($62) - Good. Moist, juicy but after a few bites tasted like good ol' ordinary chicken. Not as flavorful or imaginative as all the great chickens we've enjoyed over the years (NoMad, Annisa, Louro, Scarpetta)

                    Veal and Ricotta meatballs - Absolutely delicious meatballs. But once you take out the Swiss Chard Cannelloni that comes along you are left with $10/meatball. Perhaps the priciest in NYC?

                    Gnocchi side - This was an excellent but your basic cheesy buttery pillowy gnocchi side dish. I remember reading all sorts of praise on their gnocchi and was wondering if there was something more elaborate that was taken out of the menu at some point but waitress said no, thats it.

                    Hen of the Woods side - Even though I'm the only one in my family that likes mushrooms I had to have this. Its such an ugly looking thing (impossible to take a nice pictures of), but has a distinct earthy taste.

                    Panna Cotta - Good. Could have used a little more berry compote