German Village is a neighborhood where the average lifespan of many restaurants can be measured in quarter centuries or half centuries. Long standing staples include Lindey’s, Katzinger’s, Plank’s, The Olde Mohawk and of course, Schmidt’s. On the other end of the spectrum, Harvest Pizzeria recently celebrated their first anniversary, but has managed to quickly cement its position as a popular dining destination for German Village residents and visitors alike.
Harvest is located on a (formerly) quiet narrow stretch of South Fourth Street on the northern end of German Village. The restaurant is cozily tucked inside half of a renovated historic building where customers sit elbow to elbow while the pizzas are wood-oven fired not far away in a semi-exposed kitchen. The patio out front offers a bit more wiggle room and easily doubles the capacity of the restaurant. Everything about Harvest from the furniture to the flatware feels traditional with a modern flourish, and upscale with a casual touch.
As the name implies, the menu at Harvest Pizzeria centers on the pizza. There’s a collection of ten specialities to choose from with toppings that range from truffles to clams to goat cheese. There’s also a small selection of salads and appetizers available.
The Ohio Double Bacon Pizza ($14) is topped with slices of fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, aleppo peppers and of course, bacon. The “double” in the title comes from the use of both a thick crispier bacon crumble and a thinly sliced prosciutto-like meat. Both are equally delicious, and their contrasting textures and flavors provide a nice balance to the pie. The seasonings and peppers used add a small amount of heat, and the light application of sweet sauce and mozzarella keeps the whole meal from feeling greasy or heavy. It’s rare to come away from any entree with “double bacon” in the title and not feel gorged, and its nice to report that Harvest accomplishes this task.
The Almond Pesto Pizza ($12) is topped with almond slivers, spinach, fresh mozzarella, artichokes and a green pesto-based sauce. The spinach is wilted and very slightly blackened, and the artichokes are cooked to a nice soft consistency. The pesto sauce is garlicky and flavorful, producing something somewhat resembling a white pie. I did find that the more powerful flavors previously mentioned tend to dominate the almonds, which end up baked into the background. They didn’t really add much to this pizza, but they didn’t really take anything away from it either.
Harvest is connected to Curio, a high-end cocktail lounge located on the other side of the front patio, but also offers a selection of drinks on their main dinner menu. The Front Porch Tea ($9) is a mason jar mix of lemonade, iced tea and locally made OYO Stone Fruit Vodka. The Arnold Palmer was already a perfect summertime drink, and the shot of OYO gives it a nice punch with some light notes of peach and cherry. It goes without saying, but these are best enjoyed while dining on Harvest’s patio.
The Butterscotch Budino ($6) is one of five dessert options at Harvest. This dish is a caramel-based pudding topped with creme fraiche, toasted hazelnuts, caramel sauce and sea salt. The pudding itself is nutty and thick while remaining smooth, and the additional toppings add crunch, sweetness and saltiness. Together these components add up to create a flavor profile similar to Jeni’s popular Salty Caramel Ice Cream, so if you’re a fan of it, then you’ll love this budino. The portion is a bit on the smaller side, making it ideal for sharing only if you want a very light dessert.
Overall, the atmosphere at Harvest is hard to beat. The close quarters provide a jovial and neighborly ambiance in a very European fashion. Their patio is new favorite of mine if you land there on a day with some nice summer weather. And most importantly the pizzas are expertly assembled and cooked. If you have hesitated to hit Harvest during year one, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. And here’s looking forward to another quarter century or half century of good eats there.
Harvest Pizzeria is located at 495 South Fourth Street in German Village. They’re open Monday from 5pm to 10pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30am to 10pm, Friday & Saturday from 11:30am to 11:00pm and closed on Sunday. More information can be found online at www.harvestpizzeria.com.
Photos by Jennifer René of Jennifer René Photography.