This is the first post from our new suburban contributors – my sister Julie and her co-worker Rebecca. There are excellent places to explore all over the Philly region and since we cannot visit them all, Julie and Rebecca will occasionally share some of their experiences from Delaware County and beyond.
First up is Harvest Seasonal Grill, a seasonal, organic restaurant that is supposed to be one of the hottest places in the 'burbs right now. Here is Rebecca's take.
Located somewhat in the middle of nowhere Delaware County in an up-scale strip shopping center, Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar draws a huge crowd on a Saturday night. After our visit we found out why.
We had to wait a few minutes before being seated and the little waiting area looked charming with a modern fireplace and cozy leather seats, but it was overflowing on the freezing midwinter night we visited.
The offerings at the bar more than made up for the wait and the crowd. There was an extensive wine list, decadent cocktails, and a sizable selection of beer including several local offerings and even one seasonal organic. Wines are available in small (4 oz) and large (7 oz) sizes, which is not something often available at restaurants.
We were seated in a cozy elevated booth at the back of the restaurant where we could survey the entire scene and see into the bright open kitchen. Our server was chatty and personable (although he told us his co-workers don’t like him), and very attentive. He was not shy about making recommendations and obviously had a great affection for all the fare he was peddling.
He explained to us the seasonal nature of the menu (and thus the need to come back in another few months to try the newest offerings). The local farms from which they purchase their supplies are listed right at the top of the menu, and show just how local the food really is.
First we debated over appetizers. The waiter highly recommended the flatbreads, their specialty, so we ordered the steak & wild mushroom variety featuring the locally-famous Birchrun Blue cheese. I am not generally a fan of blue cheese, but this variety was so creamy and sweet, and melded so lusciously with nutty flavors of the wild mushrooms and the saltiness of the bits of steak that I may yet be won over.
We also ordered the organic hummus trio (which was unremarkable) and the nut encrusted goat cheese (which was transcendent – I could have eaten a whole plate of it.)
Moving on to the entrees, we were once again in the position of deciding among an abundance of equally delicious-sounding choices. Add to that a handful of exotic-sounding specials and some of us were positively stumped. Thank goodness for our server who was able to aid in the decision-making process.
I went with the cedar-roasted Atlantic salmon with asparagus, roasted carrots, and fingerling potatoes (health fans, most items on Harvest’s menu are less than 500 calories each). My fish was very good, but everything tasted a little too salty since it seemed they tossed a handful of sea salt flakes on there before serving.
I have to say I really appreciated the reasonably-sized portions of the entrees at Harvest once it was time for dessert (I usually don’t have room for three courses).
Harvest has struck upon a brilliant concept for dessert: the six choices they have – key lime pie, white & dark chocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse, s’mores, apple crisp, and seasonal fruit & organic yogurt – all come in little tumbler glasses just the right size for an individual serving. They just bring the whole lot out to your table on a tray and you take your pick.
The common theme throughout our visit to Harvest – from the first taste of the wine to the moment the dessert tray was brought out – was that there's such an array of delicious looking options that it was tough to make a pick. Luckily, everything is so good it’s hard to go wrong.
As a restaurant focused on fresh seasonal food, Harvest changes its menu often and I would definitely go back to see the next season’s offerings. There were also so many things I wanted to try that I didn’t get a chance to taste that I would love to return before the menu changes!