Restaurant Review: Harvest Kitchen + Bar
It was hard to understand why it took months for Harvest to open in its new Clintonville location. The High Street address had already been the home of Mozart’s Bakery for years. It’s not like turning a car lot into a kitchen, for Pete’s sake.
But inside the front door, it’s easier to appreciate the transition time. The bakery case that was a fixture at the prior establishment has been replaced by a beautiful luxe bar with seating. It’s the focal point of a whole new restaurant.
Indeed, Harvest is doing its own thing in Clintonville. It’s got a menu filled with burgers and sandwiches and (yes) the pizzas that made it so beloved at the original address in German Village.
One way to start a meal is with the Warm Ricotta ($9): it’s a combination that exploits the simple richness of ricotta with the more complex flavors of honey and lavender.
Or there are salads, the salads are big enough to make a meal. Outside the health-food world, a Kale Caesar ($9) might not sound like a great idea, but the house combo with lemony dressing really works with the greens. It may also be the case that Harvest’s pickiness about using local kale yields a better green that you’ll find other places: there’s more crunch and less bitterness in the leaves.
The House Chop ($9) promises iceberg, and it delivers on that promise, with julienned strips, radicchio and chick peas tied together with an Italian vinaigrette. Even for an admitted iceberg junkie, it’s heavy on the white crunchy stuff. Stick with the kale (or the Warm Ricotta) instead.
The Clintonville menu branches out in the burger department, offering burgers made from everything from duck to beef. The Turkey Burger ($13) is an excellent option. The kitchen doesn’t try to hide the turkey flavor. Instead, it celebrates it and piles it on a perky bun with razor thin slices of red onions, delicate leafy greens and a combination of melty house pimento cheese and another very soft Laurel Valley cheese. It’s like Harvest’s very own version of “Special Sauce” and it is the bomb.
The potatoes that accompany the burgers are worth a discussion of their own: they’re chopped up and fried to ensure lots of crunches and crispy edges.
Alternately, there are deli sandwiches. While “over-stuffed” isn’t really a marketing term for the joint, The Italian Meats ($14) version is heaped high with fillings including: pepperoni, salami, mortadella, canadian bacon, cheese and iceberg lettuce -which is more lovable this time.
And pizza? Harvest does have pizza with a poofy, chewy crust. The Margherita ($11) is a basic starting point. It’s a pretty little thing with lots of red sauce, a little cheese and basil leaves arranged like a clover on top. Good for purists.
But for those who need some serious toppings, the Ohio Double Bacon ($14) is a better choice. It teams bacon crunchies with delicate slices of Canadian bacon and loops of soft red peppers. The table fought for custody of the last piece.
You can team your eats with cocktails, draft beer, or a bottle of wine (the menu says it keeps the bottle prices at $10 above retail). Fair trade coffee and ginger beer are options too.
The new Harvest location can be found at 2885 N. High Street. It’s open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.
For more information, visit www.harvestpizzeria.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.