When I think of a restaurant called “Harvest,” I envision a room full of people dressed in hemp sweatshirts where I’m served a single celery stalk and a side of wheatgrass by a girl named Rainbow whose folk band plays their tambourines at the local cafe every Friday night in exchange for free herbal tea. Yeah – Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar – a restaurant that originated in Philly, just like me (+2 points right off the bat) – is nothing like that. They do healthy, locally-sourced, farm-fresh food in a way that you probably haven’t experienced, which is why I’m here to take you on my journey to their new location in Delray Beach.
The words “Roasted Seasonal Vegetable Board” might make you fall asleep more quickly than a Lord of the Rings movie (sorry, I still just don’t get it), but not the way Harvest does it. With Sweet Potatoes, Romanesco, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Parsnips, and the addition of the addicting Garlic Asiago Dipping Sauce, this dish is anything but basic. Perfect for sharing, and without the guilt!
I hunt down good cheeseboards with the same ferocity that Taylor Swift hunts down a man, so seeing Harvest’s Artisan Cheese Board was like finding an eligible date on Tinder – a diamond in the rough. The selection of cheeses is served with Fruits, Candied Nuts, Crostini, and House-Made Jams – everything you need to enhance a delicious bite of cheese.
The Organic Pork Potstickers are served with Fig Ponzu and Cranberry-Orange Mostarda, and they are out-of-this-world good. I really appreciated how instead of a savory or soy sauce, they paired it with fruity flavors, it was an unexpected and welcome twist to a dish that in most places is as average as my final grade in my Sea Organism Science course in college (who knew fish were so fricking hard to study? 15 years later and I’m still bitter about the only “C” I ever received in my life. Maybe the teacher was just trying to make a pun?).
We also sampled 2 of their flatbreads, the Margherita Flatbread (Fresh Tomato Sauce, House-Made Mozzarella, and Basil), and the Pear & Blue Flatbread (Pears, Baby Arugula, Fig Glaze, Aged Bleu Cheese) A bonus? You can order a gluten-free version of either flatbread! The Margherita was perfectly executed, but I also go for the more interesting taste, especially if it combines savory and sweet, so I preferred the Pear & Blue. The fig glaze really balanced out the dish – I give it an “A”!
This actually wasn’t my first visit to Harvest, as I had attended their grand opening party, and so I knew what I was in for with the hummus – and couldn’t WAIT for more. Every once in a while I’ll get a craving for hummus, or Publix will have a BOGO sale, and every time, I’ll eat like 2 bites and then it sits in my fridge until it goes bad, or I’ll eat it towards the end of the month when I’m waiting for pay day and have no other options save for turning my cat into Rigby Scampi. But THIS hummus is so unique, that I can’t help but devour as much as I can! The organic, gluten-free flavors are: Roasted Acorn Squash, Ginger Carrot, and Sriracha Beet. The Ginger Carrot is my personal favorite, because I happen to be a huge fan of that flavor combination. If you like beets, you’ll love the spicy twist that the Sriracha brings to it. The Roasted Acorn Squash is the most bland in my opinion but still packs some flavor and is perfect for the less adventurous hummus eater, while still giving it extra flavor.
I am NOT a soup eater, unless I hear the words “Butternut Squash.” So of course I was TOTALLY down with this dish, like legit I want to be this soup’s ride or die. It’s another gluten-free option, and it’s topped with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Local Honey. It made me feel warm and fuzzy and I even did a little dance on the inside.
Now don’t be jealous, but we did get one dish sent to the table that was prepared specially for us and not on the menu. You may not be able to order it, but it certainly shows the talent of the chef, and since the menu is constantly changing, you never know when it may pop up! It’s a Tuna Toro, which apparently swam all the way from Ft Pierce to make its way to our table. The tuna is served with strawberry ponzu, Fresno chillies, Black Sea salt and micro herbs. Pretty sure it’s fresher than the Fresh Prince – and that’s coming from someone from Philly. A delicious, clean bite with a ton of taste. Again, sweet and savory meet and it’s a far better romance story than The Notebook (sorry Ryan Gosling.)
The Super Grain Salad is complied of Quinoa, Farro, Freekeh, Tuscan Kale, Moroccan Carrots, Pomegranate Seeds, Toasted Almonds, Feta, Toasted Pumpernickel Breadcrumbs, Tangerine Mint Yogurt, and topped with Ginger Carrot Hummus Vinaigrette. You can imagine with that many tasty and unique ingredients, that each bite is packed with flavor. It definitely makes the phrase “less is more” completely null and void!
Each guest at this dinner was able to choose their own entree. I’m typically good with being decisive, but this was like trying to decide between Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum. In all cases, it’s a win either way, and I went with the Macadamia Crusted Halibut, which comes with Celery Root Purée, Baby Carrots, Charred Romanesco, and Arugula Pesto. I devoured each light, flaky, crispy nutty bite with such fervor. It’s one of those dishes where you are inclined to chow down like a champion at a hot dog eating contest, so you have to coach yourself to slow down and savor. And judging from the smiles on everyone else’s faces, the dishes that they each chose were a win too!
Of course, I had to make a special request to ask for the Vegetarian Poutine on the side. When life hands you a chance to try a healthy version of fries, you take it. It would be like refusing a lap dance from Channing Tatum (don’t lie, you WOULD.) The dish, unlike traditional poutine, is made up of Parsnip Fries, Oven Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Charred Romanesco, Cheese Curds, and Vegetable Demi-Glace. The taste, like the ingredients, is unexpected, but so was my younger sister, and she turned out fine. It’s gluten-free, and a great way to welcome you health nuts to my world. Truly, this dish inspired my world and my take on poutine. I strongly urge you to indulge without the guilt!
I promise, I’m much happier with the Poutine than my resting bitch face shows. Dress by xhilaration from Target.
Sometimes, you just need one bite of sweet to end a meal, and that is what I love about Harvest’s desserts – they are just a few bites of heaven that allow you to end on a sweet note without over-stuffing yourself. The assortment included indulgences such as Chocolate Salted Caramel Mousse, Peanut Butter Cup, and Carrot Cake, and while we each got to choose our own, these shooters of sweet goodness are perfect for taking a bite and passing it on. Anyone concerned about weight loss, health, or portion control will be pleased with these, because it is the perfect amount for complete satisfaction, and one is more delicious than the next!
It is no less than amazing that Harvest is able to take so many dishes and make them health conscious, without sacrificing flavor. If they can manage to make Poutine healthy, I may just be re-titling this blog to “Fashionably Fit (Un)Fried”!!
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.