We hadn’t found time in ages to get together with our friend Leslie, who writes The Food & Me, and when I tossed a few ideas her way, she picked pizza. We met at Hearth Pizza Tavern after work one Friday last month. This is a little place at Roswell Road and Hammond, tucked away, invisibly, in the same strip mall as a Whole Foods and the popular Canton Cooks.
The toddler was in a wild mood this evening. I dropped the girlchild with my mother for a weekend vacation and the baby bawled all the way over that he missed her. He spotted Mommy waiting out front before I then drove to the other end of the parking lot just about to find a space and he bawled for Mommy. He occasionally asked “Eat pizza?” but really, all he wanted to do was run around. Friday nights at Hearth find their space packed with families and lots of kids, most of whom are quarantined in the patio area. If you don’t like kids, don’t come here on a Friday evening.
We enjoyed a couple of their celebrated starters – fried eggplant and the crispy Brussels sprouts, served with parmesan cheese, pancetta and a balsamic glaze, and talked shop and gossiped, and the pizzas, stacked high with toppings, were ready before we knew it.
I’m not saying that we didn’t like them, but we were each a little disappointed in them after the original and fun starters. I had the Mass Pike, which has capicola, Italian sausage, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and gigantic globs of pesto that overpowered the cheese and sauce. Leslie was very excited to see a clam pizza on the menu, because she’s a Yankee and hasn’t had a proper Connecticut clam pizza in many years, but the clams, canned, were small and puny, their flavor overpowered by the sausage.
That’s not to say that I had any objection to pesto, nor Leslie to sausage, but these little pies are defined by the toppings, which, apart from the clams, are all of good quality, and not by the sauce or the crust. When the flavors of the toppings are in so much competition, it really felt like somebody in the back was thinking in terms of quantity and not subtlety and balance. It’s probably worth trying again in a few months to see whether this is a temporary kink and hopefully not general practice.
Other blog posts about Hearth Pizza Tavern:
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!