I had a wonderful lunch today to celebrate my birthday. Now, those who know me well will be scratching their heads because my birthday is in May.
My dear friend, Tammy – with whom I work – and I have been meaning to get together to celebrate my birthday; but life has come up!!! When we see each other, it’s often because things at The Kitchen Shoppe are busy and we’re both working. And she and her hubby are in the process of restoring a home. And I have a new niece. So, like most of you, we’re busy.
But we finally sync’d our schedules. Always wanting to eat somewhere new, I was happy when Tammy suggested Harvest, which she recently tried with her daughter.
When we arrived I immediately loved the décor. One wall is beautiful warm field stone, there is funky lighting with Thomas Edison-style bulbs and pretty accents. A large table in the front of the restaurant is made private behind interesting art glass panels. It is a place that makes me feel at home (not that my home has these features).
Of course, we spend the first 15ish minutes catching up; so I’m sure we must have frustrated our waitress a bit – although she didn’t let it show. She continued to check back with us to see if we were ready to order; but she was not intrusive and she continued to tell us in a warm way to take our time deciding.
I was interested to learn that, like the name implies, Harvest offers a seasonal menu. Right now they’re offering their fall menu. Beginning December 21st they will offer their winter menu. I was also pleased to learn that all but a handful of their menu items are under 500 calories – a great thing for those who are calorie-conscious. But, there are also some richer dishes for those who want to splurge a bit.
The menu offers flatbreads that sounded terrific, appetizers, salads, appetizers, and sandwiches – which to my mind are all great lunch options – as well as a myriad of entrees.
The decision about what to order was a difficult one. We asked the waitress about her favorites and she recommended Edamame 3-Ways, which I’ll have to try on a return trip, and the Spicy Sausage Flatbread without the olives (a girl after my own heart). Tammy and I were also intrigued by the Mediterranean Trio, which includes hummus, babaganoush and something I’ve not heard of previously – Muhamarra.
Thank goodness for iPhones and Google. I looked up ‘muhamarra’ and learned that it is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria. This is another thing I will definitely have to try on a return visit!
Although many items were tempting, Tammy and I decided to share the Oven Baked Goat Cheese and each get a bowl of the Butternut Squash Soup. Our decision was a good one. The appetizer was described on the menu as:
“Oven Baked Goat Cheese – Almond encrusted, apples, local organic honey, housemade jams and crostini.”
It was yummy. The jams were (1) seckle pear and (2) red pepper and ginger. They were a great accompaniment to the creamy goat cheese.
The soup, was perfect for a 22-degree, windy day! It was warm and creamy with just a bit of texture from squash that was not over-pureed. It was topped with local organic honey and toasted pumpkin seeds. The honey offered a sweetness that was the perfect contrast to the earthy soup.
The portions were not large, but they were satisfying. And they allowed room for a little dessert. And lo and behold, Harvest offers little desserts! The dessert tray arrived on what reminded me of an artists pallet. There were many choices – all served in shot glasses – an idea I embraced for an upcoming class – Holiday Appetizers & Desserts in Miniature. It was nice to eat a dessert from a shot glass to get the idea of how my students will feel in class. The conclusion – it’s a great way to have what many people say they want after a meal – “just a bite or two!”
Tammy ordered the Cinnamon Apple Strudel “shot” and I ordered the White Chocolate Cheesecake “shot.” And although the desserts were small, the were large enough to share a bite with a friend.
The best part of the meal was sharing it with a good friend. To me, good food in bad company doesn’t taste quite as good; but bad food in good company tastes better! In this instance, I was lucky to have yummy food and wonderful company!
Thanks for lunch, Tammy! It was a nice change to celebrate my birthday in November!!!