Is upscale casual a thing?
So, you may know by know that I am very into all things H Street. What I didn't know about was this little hidden gem called DC Harvest. Tucked away amongst construction and office buildings is DC Harvest, an upscale casual restaurant specializing in mostly local and all homemade ingredients utilizing what's in season - my fave. Check out how I filled my belly below!
I sat down to a lovely farm table in a natural light filled dining room and immediately noticed the tiny jar of micro greens adorning my table. I secretly hoped they were local and was not disappointed when I saw Little Wild Things as one of the partner farms! A centerpiece that doubles as an appetizer? I'll take it! (Yes I did eat some micro basil - it was delicious).
A seasonal giardiniera was placed in front of me as the server introduced herself and took my drink order - I'm a sucker for instant snacks, so this ranked very high in my book. The crunchy carrots, celery and cauliflower were doused with apple cider vinegar, and a hint of curry, making for an addictive start to the meal leaving me craving something to drink....
I tried the scorched mango with smokey mezcal and spicy jalapeno. It was spicy and sweet and everything nice. Pictured above is the Negroni made with local distiller Don Ciccio & Figli's amaro.
Most of the cocktails feature local spirits and house made syrups/concoctions. WIN.
My dining companion and I were treated to a plethora of dishes from the menu. We started with some appetizers:
The quinoa crusted shrimp had an awesome crunch and utilized quinoa in such an imaginative and unique manner. Definitely stole this idea to try at home. The crunchy, succulent shrimp were paired with super creamy guacamole and spicy/sour kimchi. This inventive pairing had my taste buds bouncing off the wall asking questions and yearning for more!
Next up, the house made cherry wood smoked bacon and Asiago "doughnuts." If you can't tell by the extremely blurry photo, I was very excited to try these. More like a hush puppy, these balls of batter were super bacon-y, with gooey chunks of Asiago inside. I loved that there were big pieces of bacon and cheese in the batter so that you could really taste what was going on in there! The mustard was too overpowering for me since the doughnuts themselves were so tasty on their own.
For a lighter dish, we tried the heirloom tomato tomato and micro green salad. The vinaigrette was tart, tomatoes fresh and plating was stunning. I could have gone for a few hunks of cheese, but hey, would couldn't?
Keeping on the lighter side during the dog days of summer (when I visited, yes I realize this took a long time to post), we also tried the chilled corn soup! I was actually caught off guard that it was a cold soup, but it was fantastic. The corn was at it's peak ripeness - plump and super sweet - with a punch of local micro basil, luscious lump crab and pure bliss. I hope this menu item makes a return appearance next summer.
Pasta time!!!! All ofDC Harvest's pastas are made fresh in house!! We tried the kale pasta, which actually tasted like kale it wasn't just green noodles, with meaty walnuts and house made mascarpone cheese. The pasta was tender and toothsome and the fresh mascarpone was the absolute cherry on the top of this dish; it was tangy and salty and creamy and just MADE the dish - we even asked for an extra scoop because we loved it so much! The surprising thing about this pasta dish is that there was no meat in it, but the walnuts fostered such a wonderful texture and taste that you would never miss the meat.
We ordered a dessert that I can't even remember now, but were told we absolutely had to try the S'mores pot du creme. Typically I stay away from s'more-like desserts because the marshmallow is usually fake and it becomes cloyingly sweet, sticky mess. HOWEVER, this dessert is worth the trip to H street alone. The REAL marshmallows are carefully toasted and placed on top of a velvety pot of chocolate custard. We spooned the pot du creme and gooey marshmallow onto the chewy graham cracker cookies and finished this bad boy in under a minute. I will be back for the S'more pot du creme alone.
I like this place. I like it a lot (cue Lloyd Christmas). DC Harvest celebrates local seasonal food; emits a casual, unpretentious vibe with upscale cuisine; and makes me feel like part of a family that puts lots of love into whatever they create. The menu changes seasonally, so you might not be able to try the items I had, but you can surely find something delicious. I highly recommend checking out this hidden gem, while you're out and about on H street!