Monday, December 01, 2014
A Fall Dinner at DC Harvest
The Harvest Moon cocktail
I recently enjoyed a dinner at the newly opened (September) DC Harvest (517 H Street). This was not my first time dining there, and based on my experiences it's certainly a place I'd recommend for a nice dinner out along the Corridor. The interior is welcoming, with soft lights (but not so dim you would struggle to read the menu), and a modest noise level. It could probably serve equally well for a dinner date or a nice cocktail/happy hour with a friend or two. I should note that I have seen families with young children enjoy dinner there, and point out that DC Harvest has both highchairs and a kids' menu. Regarding that kids' menu, think pasta/steak/turkey breast with seasonal veggies or fingering potatoes instead of the usual kids' burger or chicken fingers. They will even serve mocktails to make the evening seem extra festive.
I started my evening with the Harvest Moon (Bulleit Rye, jalapeno, mint, and lemon), which I found well balanced and would order again.
Prince Edward Island mussels make an appearance on DC Harvest's appetizer menu
I shared two appetizers with my dining companion, and the first of these was the PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels cooked with Atlas Brew Works' District Common, kale, garlic, and a creole mustard. The mussels were well executed and I definitely used all of my bread to soak up the remaining broth.
Next we tried the roast beet salad with olives, parsley, fried chickpeas, and sheep's milk cheese. We both really enjoyed this dish and my picture doesn't quite do it justice.
I ordered the grilled swordfish with roasted carrots, kale, and roasted almond romesco. My fish came out cooked perfectly and paired well with the vegetables.
Fall vegetable slaw
For a side dish we selected the fall vegetable slaw which brought a pleasant crunch to the table.
My second drink of the evening was the harvest negroni with local Green Hat gin and Don Ciccio Amaro, as well as sweet vermouth. This was my favorite cocktail of the two I tried that night and I highly recommend it to anyone who at all likes drinks with a liquorice note.
Crispy quinoa cakes
My dinner companion ordered the crispy quinoa cakes with mustard greens, celery root, butternut squash purée, and chèvre. Though this dish is entirely vegetarian, it should not be over-looked even by devout carnivores. It's the second time I've sampled it, and it's been outstanding both times, with a really great texture and flavor.
Honey walnut tart
For dessert we had the honey walnut tart with thyme, fromage blanc, and seasonal fruit. This is the perfect after dinner treat for those who find many desserts a touch too sweet. We had a hard time choosing between the honey walnut tart and the concord grape semifreddo with butterscotch cookies (pictured below).
Concord grape semifreddo with butterscotch cookies
Appetizers range from $7-14, entrées from $18-25, and desserts from $4-8. DC Harvest also offers a set menu of dishes offered only certain nights of the week (Old Bay fried chicken Mondays and Tuesdays, smoked braised brisket Wednesdays and Thursdays, herb roasted pork belly Fridays and Saturdays, and whole wheat pappardelle Sundays). They are open for dinner and drinks 5pm-11pm Sunday-Thursday and 5pm-2am Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served 11am-2:30pm every Saturday and Sunday (they have a kids' brunch menu).
DC Harvest also offers a special (bar only) menu for happy hour (5-7pm daily and 11pm-1am Fridays and Saturdays). Here's the happy hour menu:
Chef Arthur’s Bloody Mary oyster shooter | green hat gin ($4); Old Bay dusted popcorn ($2); arugula salad | grilled radicchio | kamut | roasted carrots | quinoa | verjus vinaigrette ($4); lamb sausage sliders | tomato jam | potato roll ($3); Chef Arthur’s home-smoked nuts | almonds | pistachio | walnuts ($3); Cheese--choice of sheep, goat, or bleu ($4).
From the bar, which includes beers, wines and spirits, all draft beers, are $5, including Starr Hill Pilsner, VA; DC Brau “El Hefe Speaks”, DC; Atlas “District Common”, DC; Flying Dog “The Truth” Imperial IPA, MD; Port City Monumental IPA, VA; and Three Stars Peppercorn Saison, DC. Cans of Natty Boh are $3. Wines by the glass are $5 and include Cline Syrah & Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc. Cocktail specials are the Harvest Rickey (Green Hat Gin / Lime Juice / Club Soda) and the New Fangled (Catoctin Creek Rye / Orange / Grapefruit bitters / Pineapple Juice) at $6. The Happy Hour menu is available at the bar only.