The Theater District got a new all-day restaurant around Curtain Up time last month, when Hearth + Press opened at 665 Main St.
There’s coffee and pastry for breakfast. Sandwiches, pizza, salads and a few appetizers are available for lunch and dinner. You can see the menu here. It's run by Peter and Johnathan Eid, brothers who own Mezza, the Lebanese restaurant on Elmwood Avenue.
It’s easy for casual passersby to miss, as it has minimal signage and an entryway facing an alley, around the corner from Main Street.
Inside, it’s a roomy, sleek space around a counter-lined gas-fired pizza oven. There are tables along the smoked glass picture windows along Main Street, and stools at the pizza bar.
Customers walk up to the cash register at the far right to order. It's counter-service, which means you get a number and wait for a call, then go to retrieve your food.
Hummus, bread and olives ($8) offered a generous amount of crusty bread and assorted olives, but suffered from bland hummus.
Pizzas ($12-16) are stretched and fired to order. The dough made crust worth eating instead of abandoning. Right out of the oven, the pizza corniciones were crisp-tender. Two had been cooked a smidge too long, which can happen at a new pizza place just getting its legs.
The margherita was simple and tasty.
The roasted vegetable pizza, with eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes and goat cheese, was a hearty vegetarian meal that could have used more spice. Pale tomatoes seemed unfortunate, given the season.
The prosciutto had a spray of arugula that added a peppery note to the salty richness of ham and cheese.
My favorite was the quattro formaggio, a kicky blend of cheeses (mozzarella, fontina, goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano) on light tomato sauce. It was the kind of pizza where you keep promising yourself you're going to take some home for tomorrow, until there's none left.
A house salad ($8) offered a basic assortment of greens, tomatoes and cheese.
When I saw a baklava croissant ($3) on the menu, I was expecting a flaky, sweet treat. I got subtle walnut and cinnamon flavor, but it was actually a crescent roll, and it was dry.
I didn't try sandwiches ($10-12), but from the decent pizza offerings, I'd expect them to be solid.
With Hearth + Press opening its doors, office lunchers and nighttime theater-goers have legitimate stone-hearth pizzas within their reach. You could do a lot worse than a quattro formaggio and a glass of wine for a light downtown bite.
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