Too Soon To Harvest?

Not if you dine at Harvest Seasonal Wine & Grill Bar… “a high quality, farm-fresh, seasonally-changing menu that offers a range of dining options not typically found in traditional farm-to-table establishments.” If you’ve ever patronized a Seasons 52 restaurant, Harvest is it’s kindred spirit in looks and philosophy.

To source the freshest and highest quality ingredients possible, they work closely with 75 local farmers. While other establishments have only recently begun to embrace organic menu additions, Harvest was built from the ground up with a no compromise attitude towards using local, all-natural ingredients in all of their offerings.

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Just before Super Bowl Sunday, we visited a party store in Newtown and happened to notice a new restaurant right next door. Of course curiosity got the best of us and we had to go peek our noses in the window. We were immediately drawn to the modern industrial decor and promise of a farm-to-table menu offering organically grown ingredients. And the grand opening was set for the day after the Super Bowl, so we were excited to try it.

Fast forward about a week and Russ tried to make a reservation for Valentine’s night but they were booked (unless you wanted to eat after 9:00, even late by our standards); although he was able to score one a few days later on a Friday evening. Thank goodness we did make the res because when we arrived, the entrance and waiting area was jam-packed. Luckily our wait was short and we were seated at the far end in a quieter booth—and I’ll use the term “quiet” loosely, as the place was buzzing!

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We were seated in a banquette against a far wall partially blocked off from the central “pit” of diners.

Our knowledgeable and enthusiastic waiter Lance walked us through the menu and took our wine order while we tried to settle on some options. I was impressed to see that most items are 500 calories or less, non-GMO, and contained an extensive list of vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan items. Refreshingly, the menu is updated every three months to address the change of seasons.

Furthermore, the use of sustainable, organic and healthy ingredients doesn’t stop with the menu. From organic cleaning products to recycled glass counter tops and post consumer fiber menus, they utilize green practices daily throughout the overall concept at all of their locations—six of which are in PA; with one each in Moorestown, NJ and Delray Beach, FL.

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Lighting above the booths meshes well with the other decor.

In the end we decided our starter would be the Organic Spicy Pork Flatbread on a very thin cracker-like crust topped with crumbled pork, roasted bell peppers, Kalamata olives and mozzarella curd. It was ever-so-light and a perfect teaser for our future choices.

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While the overall pace seemed to be a bit frantic with the waitstaff trying to keep up with the constant flow of diners, we didn’t feel rushed at all. Instead of focusing on entrées, we decided to split an array of appetizers and chose three items, all with a kick.

IMG_2882Kung Pao Cauliflower “Wings” (top left) with a ginger soy glaze, pickled carrot strips and jalapeños, sriracha, toasted sesame and scallions.

IMG_2884Organic Pork Potstickers garnished with Korean pepper remoulade and Asian Vegetable slaw.

IMG_2885Thai Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps plated with bibb lettuce, pickled carrots, daikon radishes, edamame, sriracha salted peanuts and a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce.

It was just the right amount of food (although I didn’t end up with a doggie bag), but Russ asked to see the dessert tray anyway. Just as Seasons 52 serves their desserts in large shot glasses, Harvest presents a similar display. Seeing as how they weren’t overwhelming in size, Russ opted to try the Tiramisu, and he loved it! They gave us two spoons just in case…

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First impression was a winner! I couldn’t wait to go back… Although it was over 4 months until we had the opportunity to return at the end of June. They have a wrap around porch with about a dozen or so tables so we were lucky enough to dine al fresco in the warm weather, and it is much quieter than the interior spaces. Albeit, the view is mostly of the parking lot, but there is some greenery too.

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After selecting a bottle of Charge, a California Cabernet (I loved the label) once again we started with one of their delicious flat breads, this time the Jerk Chicken Flatbread with a Jamaican jerk sauce, roasted poblano pepper and mild cheddar—yes, we ate the whole thing! The crust is crunchy and very thin while the toppings are appropriately distributed and perfectly paired.

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For main entrées we went with seafood. Russ chose the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, with fried green tomato relish, a chili corn rémoulade, seasonal baby patty pan squash, roasted fingerling potatoes and a charred lemon half. His opinion? Among the best crab cakes he’s ever eaten.

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I zeroed in on the Seared Sea Scallops that were dusted in stone-ground cornmeal lined up over a bed of sweet corn risotto, accompanied by an heirloom tomato relish with basil oil, corn shoots, and topped with micro basil. OMG, we both LOVED our meals!

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Well, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs because we both took nearly half of our dinners home; which left no room for dessert this time around. All-in-All Harvest has left a good taste in our mouths—literally. So we know that there will certainly be return visits in the future.

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