Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar
Delray’s new “Must Try” sensation
By Kenny Spahn
Have you been to the new Harvest Seasonal Grill yet? If not, then head over to Delray Place on N. Federal Highway (at Linton Blvd.), and discover this new culinary Hot Spot. (And if you have been there already, the menu changes seasonally, so come back and try something new!). As the name suggests, Harvest Seasonal Grill is all about fresh, wholesome food. The innovative “harvest-centric eatery and wine bar” features locally-sourced, Farm-To-Table ingredients – including sustainable, wild-caught, free-range chicken, organic, and non-GMO products whenever possible. It’s the brainchild of Dave Magrogan, of Pennsylvania-based Dave Magrogan Group. As the affable leader notes, “We work to find the healthiest ingredients available through local farmers and purveyors. It’s about creating a sustainable menu for people, with the highest emphasis on quality of products.” His passion is readily witnessed in the company’s mantra, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.”
The “polished-casual” restaurant is warm and inviting, with natural tones and wood accents reflecting the back-to-nature vibe. Seating options include a comfortable main dining room, several private rooms, a lively front bar area, and a capacious outdoor terrace. Harvest Seasonal Grill’s commitment to “go green” goes beyond just the food — from the recycled glass bar top, to the organic fresh herbs growing in the patio (talk about Farm to Table!), down to the organic cleaning products used. The menu (printed on recycled paper with eco-friendly ink) changes seasonally to capitalize on the season’s fresh offerings. It also conveniently denotes those items which are Vegetarian, under 500 calories, and/or available Gluten-Free — and even lists the local farmers and purveyors. Another plus: the management and staff are very cognizant of food sensitivities, and Executive Chefs William Ring (of 32 East fame) and Jeremy Hanson will gladly accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions whenever possible. The servers are friendly and knowledgeable, and are well-attuned to ensuring a pleasant dining experience under the guidance of TJ Elbahmi.
The menu is quite expansive, and you may have a tough time deciding just what to order — so gazing your way through a few starters is the way to go here. Flatbreads (Harvest Season’s lighter take on pizza) are a great way to start, with thin crusts bearing the perfect amount of crispiness after their trip to the authentic wood-burning oven. The Pear & Bleu Flatbread is a tantalizing combo sure to get your taste buds in gear – fresh pears, aged Bleu cheese and baby arugula, topped with a sweet fig glaze. It’s like a fruit & cheese platter on a pizza. Other options range from a simple Harvest Spice with asiago gratin (quite a bargain at only $4!), to Spring Vegetarian, to a hearty Steak & Mushroom with caramelized shallots and baby Swiss. Note: All Flatbreads are available on Gluten-free dough.
Appetizers ($5-$16) span the culinary gamut, from Asian (Organic Potstickers, Thai Shrimp Skewers, Tuna Poke), to Mediterranean (Organic Hummus Trio, Roasted Seasonal Veggies), to American Comfort (Short Rib Quesadilla, Turkey Chili, Blue Crab Cakes), to Continental (Spinach Pierogi Dumplings, Artisan Cheese Board, Charcuterie tastings). The Butternut Squash Soup is particularly outstanding – rich and velvety, brimming with Autumnal comfort of pumpkin pie. It’s a definite ‘must try’ – but it’s a seasonal specialty, so you’ll have to wait until fall to try it. Fresh Salads showcase the restaurant’s Farm-To-Table, locally-sourced produce. The Super Grain Salad is like a customized selection from a Whole Foods salad bar. Start with a heart-healthy ancient grains trio of Quinoa, Farro (a toothsome grain reminiscent of Buckwheat, popular in Tuscan dishes), and Freekeh (young green whole wheat that has been toasted and cracked, similar to wheat berries). The three super grains are joined by a bevy of co-stars, including baby Tuscan kale, Moroccan carrots, juicy pomegranate arils, toasted almonds, Greek Feta, and toasted pumpernickel breadcrumbs, tossed in a vibrant ginger carrot hummus vinaigrette, and topped with tangerine mint yogurt. Wow! It’s so damn good, you’ll forget how healthy it is. All Salads are offered in Small or Large size ($4-$16), and may be augmented with a variety of proteins.
For a great lunch or light dinner, the Grass-Fed Beef Burger is a winner — but the Grass-Fed Bison Burger (with Shitake mushrooms, baby Swiss, and Truffle aioli on a poppy seed onion roll) is even better! Other options include Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Latin-Asian inspired Vietnamese Chicken Tacos; and substantial Entrée Salads like the Thai BBQ Shrimp, Steak & Wedge, Grilled Salmon, and a delightful Strawberry Patch Chicken Salad with baby spinach and goat cheese.
But for the true Harvest experience, don’t miss the Entrees. Like all items, the entrees seasonally, but there’s always a diverse offering, from light and mild to hearty and wild. Cedar Roasted Organic Salmon is a house specialty, decked out with roasted carrots, asparagus, grilled lemon and roasted fingerlings. Seared Sea Scallops with Brussels sprouts, Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl, and a luscious Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut are other seaworthy options. My choice for Meat? Go for the Grass-Fed Filet Mignon, or the Braised Short Ribs with roasted root vegetables and roasted garlic mash. Other meaty options include Coq Au Vin, Stuffed Bone-in Duroc Pork Chops, and Braised Lamb Shank, and Local Lemon-Thyme Chicken. And fear not, Vegetarians, there’s plenty of offerings for you, as well. You’ll never miss the meat with hearty offerings like Local Mushroom Stroganoff, Seared Tofu Noodle Bowl, Winter Vegetable Stew (seasonal), and a Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with roasted Creminis, toasted pistachios, garlic, truffle oil, and fresh grated Manchego cheese. Entrees run from $11-$30, with accompanying veggies and sides.
Even the Desserts are thoughtfully presented in small “shot glass” portions, so you indulge in a “just a bite” of luscious Peanut Butter Cup, Key Lime Pie, seasonal Gelato, Sugar Plum Cobbler, or Banana Fluffernutter with only a slight bit of compunction. And don’t forget about the “Wine Bar” part of the name, with an extensive wine list including over 40 wines by the glass, plus a special Reserve Lets. The full bar also shakes up some potent potables, including specialty cocktails and local craft beers, which also change seasonally.
Harvest Seasonal Grill has really tapped into current dining trends and customer preferences. So put Harvest Seasonal Grill on your ‘Must Try’ list (it’s already tops on my own ‘Must Return’ list!)
TAGS: Harvest Seasonal Grill, Delray, Farm to Table, Locally sourced, Organic, Vegetarian, Wine Bar, Cocktails, Restaurant Placement Group, www.RestaurantPlacement.com, Delray Place, Reviews, Wine