Home Sweet Home
Cozy is certainly a word that comes to mind when walking through the front door of Home on Cornelia Street in the West Village. The space is small, tiny in fact, which makes for familiar surroundings to those who reside in New York City. Dimly lit, filled with mostly tables for two. Look closely at the hostess stand that doubles as a bar, and you will see a constantly replenished supply of tiny chocolate cookies, any child’s dream when walking in their own house. It made us pretty happy too.
The menu hosts a mix of unpretentious american fare, and ingredients are supplied by local farms, and change seasonally. Home makes their own ketchup, which is a delightful paring to the crisp, sweet, and not too greasy onion rings my friend Annie and I shared, and I would imagine on many other things as well. With dishes like Maple Bourbon Pork Belly and Spicy Apple Hash, Hudson Valley Duck Confit Salad with watercress, grilled apples, duck cracklings and cranberry vinagrette, Braised Beef Short Ribs with herb polenta, crispy hen of the woods, red wine jus, and Meyer Lemon Brick Chicken with sautéed collard greens, I can easily say it surpasses anything I remember having on the dinner menu at my own home (sorry mom and dad).
Many of the flavors were distinctly New England, which to me provides some of the most warm and comforting combinations. Apples, bacon, maple, pumpkin, sharp earthy, and smokey cheeses, and pork all appear on the fall menu all of which I consider to be very classic flavors (and very Vermont, even better).
Annie and I shared the Artisanal Cheese Plate with apples, and Home’s very own salami with sourdough toasts. We sipped a Long Island white (Bedell’s “First Crush” a blend of chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc).
Though I prefer reds, the wine mirrored the flavor of apples, and the crispness balanced out our sweet main course. The Molasses Double Cut Pork Chop with onion rings, brussel sprouts, and bacon was a really wonderful dish. The pork was tender and seasoned well. The brussel sprouts and onion rings were a perfect salty contrast to the sweetness of the glazed meat, and the homemade ketchup was a really nice touch.
We were very close to the table behind us, which was unfortunate because it was difficult to ignore the absolutely ridiculous conversation between the two girls of similar age behind us. After finishing the wine, and noticing one of our favorite Bob Dylan songs was playing, we tuned out of the conversation about someone traveling “Argentinia”. The Kentucky Coffee loaded with Knob Creek and topped with homemade whipped cream didn’t hurt either. Not to mention the chocolate chips, which we snuck many of (not quite as many as the table right in front of the hostess stand).
Overall, a really wonderful meal that incorporated many of my favorite flavors of fall, and any other season for that matter. Our conversation was stimulating enough, and our drinks strong enough to dismiss the close quarters. Though I think the atmosphere could be a bit more “homey,” comforting, relaxing, and welcoming– I look forward to returning during the Spring or Summer when the garden is open in the back. White walls with really drab oil paintings and rows of wine bottles didn’t feel like a warm home environment to me. I really liked the menu, the concept, and the fact that everything (even the wines) were farm-to-table. There were a very creative touches on the menu but what I liked most was the classic flavors and simplicity.