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Reap Our First Tastes of Harvest: New American Farm to Table in Greenwich, CT

4 Feb

Mac and cheese can be pretty traditional everywhere you go. Sure, sometimes you might get a fun, surprise ingredient like truffle oil, lobster, bacon, or jalapeno, but usually it’s fairly safe. But, if you’re Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant in Greenwich, safe and traditional aren’t even in their vocabulary. Instead, their EPIC baked mac and cheese is made from fresh, housemade cavatelli mixed with Cabot white cheddar, fontina cheese, and the pièce de résistance, a hearty amount of short ribs that have been braising in red wine all day, all topped with crispy, crunchy bread crumbs. This awesomeness set the tone for the night of the special pre-opening party!

Short rib mac + cheese

Short rib mac + cheese

During the night we met Vicente Siguenza, owner and manager of the amazing Cava, Scena, and 55 Wine Bar & Restaurant. And, we were geeked out to meet the man behind the food, Chef Eben Leonard. He came out with both our dishes and talked about how he prepared them and how they had evolved over time. Just the day before Eben and his sous chefs cooked every single dish on the menu and all the staff at the restaurant had to taste them. Our server that night said she was throwing the food down like a rock star at first, but then she soon realized the Herculean task set before her and took it a bit easier. The tasting is part of what sets Harvest aside from many other restaurants. They want the staff to know what they are bringing to the table and they want the staff to be able to help people order.

Talking a bit more about the menu, it’s divided up into a few parts that will have you coming back for more. Raw specials (like tartare), snacks and shares, starters, seconds, wood fire grilled steakhouse choices, sides, and desserts. If you’re a wine lover, you’ll be happy to know that they are staring with 120 bottles and will also have 30 different glasses of wine for your drinking pleasure. There are also some beer options, with Half Full taking up 2/3 drafts with their Bright Ale and IPA. Now, back to the food…

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Kristien sank down into the short rib mac & cheese, and Dan ordered the shaved Brussels sprout salad, atop a parmesan risotto cake, sprinkled with truffle vinaigrette. When Chef Leonard spoke to us about the dish, we were surprised (and a bit scared) when he told us that the dish before us consisted of raw shredded Brussels sprouts. Raw? Regardless, Dan dug in and really loved the strong cheese flavor that was packed into the sprouts. There was really a great contrast going on there: the richness of the cheese paired with the earthy, slightly bitter taste of the sprouts. The risotto cake beneath had a crispy crust and added a nice solid crunch from the crispy crust. The inside probably could have used just a bit more cooking, but that didn’t stop Dan from devouring every last bite.

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