Dinner at Harvest, Harvard Square

As a self-proclaimed foodie (in spite of the negative connotations, I am embracing the word for what I understand it to mean: someone who geeks out about good food) and as a resident of Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA for almost ten years, I am ashamed to admit that I’ve only had drinks at Harvest, one of area’s restaurant institutions, once.

I’ve only had drinks there once, and while I’ve tried chef Mary Dumont’s food at plenty of food events (most recently at Taste of the Nation), I’ve never actually sat down at the restaurant for dinner, or brunch, or dessert. Eeep.

This was certainly a travesty.

Thank goodness I was able  remedy that last week, when I had dinner there for one of the monthly tasting series. For June, it’s a “Berry Good Time”  or the Strawberry Harvest Review – a four course meal with wine from specialties by executive chef Mary Dumont, executive pastry chef Brian Mercury, and wine director John Mooradian.

My meal was complimentary, but I want to point out that this is one of the best prix fixe deals in the area. For $44 per person, diners get 4 courses with wine pairings. At other restaurants, four glasses of wine alone would cost more than that! And while I don’t recommend drinking four glasses of wine every night, every once in a while, it’s nice to indulge in a food tasting with wine pairings.

Plus, you’ll get to eat at Harvest.  My advice is please don’t wait 10 years like I did, because the restaurant truly is a gem. Tucked in a cobblestone pathway in the middle of the square, Harvest serves modern New England fare and has received both local and international acclaim. The restaurant has served as training ground for some of the country’s best chefs, including Boston’s own Lydia Shire and Barbara Lynch.

And if those names or prices don’t mean anything to you, perhaps these pictures might convince you to drop by for a meal at Harvest soon:

Grilled Kurobota Pork Sausage (with pickled green strawberries)

Lavender Compressed Strawberry Salad

Seared Scottish Salmon

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet

I ate every last bite from each course, and my favorite was the sorbet with little bits of crunchy strawberry meringue, lovage cream, and teeny oat crackers.  My favorite wine pairing was also the dessert course wine: a sweet moscato from Piedmont, Italy.

We were able to chat with Harvest’s pastry chef, Brian Mercury, for a little bit and he told us how he makes his own salt.  This is the same guy who chooses the Taza chocolate cremeux with sea salt and salted caramel as his quintessential dessert. Salted chocolate? Salted caramel? Can you guess where I’m going this weekend just for dessert? I have a feeling I’m going to be at Harvest a lot more often this year.

What was the best multi-course menu you’ve had in recent memory? I’ve had some really extravagant multi-course meals and lots of other food tastings with wine pairings and I unabashedly admit that I always have room for dessert!

 Harvest on Urbanspoon


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