This NuLu restaurant and its local menu earned one of our highest ratings for 2019
The team at Harvest would like to say a big thank you to the Courier-Journal for their recent review of the restaurant. They also took the time to snap some great shots of some of the dishes and the dining room.
This Harvest restaurant in NuLu features a local menu, regional style
Lindsey McClave, Special to Courier Journal Published 6:58 a.m. ET May 29, 2019
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars
Address: 624 E. East Market St.
Price Range: Expensive
The chef’s whites at Harvest may have changed hands over the years but the restaurant’s commitment to sourcing ingredients from local farmers is as genuine as ever. Harvest was founded on the promise that 80% of the items served would come from the plethora of farms within a 100-mile radius of Louisville.
A lofty goal to be sure, but Harvest has continually proven that it is an achievable one and when in the hands of the right chef, a goal that reaps delicious rewards for its diners.
Little has changed at Harvest since it opened in the NuLu neighborhood in 2011. What better decor for a farm-to-table restaurant than large photos of the farmers the menu celebrates? Diners who frequent Louisville farmers markets will recognize familiar faces among the bunch, including Adam Barr of Barr Farms and Maggie Keith of Foxhollow Farm, just two of the many farmers who have supplied Harvest with meats and vegetables over the years.
Reclaimed wood tables speak to the restaurant’s rustic nature and floor-to-ceiling windows at the front give diners a glimpse of the comings and goings of Market Street in the ever-vibrant NuLu district.
We took in the view while sipping cocktails during a recent dinner visit. At Harvest, Kentucky’s bourbon and rye are celebrated in its lineup of eight craft creations. The Harvest Old Fashioned ($10) plays by the seasonal rules and features a rotating fruit syrup; the spring variation, available now, is made with local strawberries. The berries were muddled in the glass as well, giving the drink a rosy hue.
It bore all of the trappings of a well-executed Old Fashioned with a subtle twist in fruit and is a drink I would look forward to sipping on through the seasons. The Down in Mexico ($12) was equally mixed. This mezcal-based cocktail is served up and balanced just so, elderflower liqueur, lime, and coriander tempering the mezcal’s smokey essence.
Like the Harvest Old Fashioned, the charcuterie board ($25) plays with fresh finds from the farm. The meat is house-cured and crafted with great skill. A trio of local cheeses is served at room temperature, allowing the textures and flavors to fully shine. A charcuterie board is only as good as its accompaniments, and Harvest does not disappoint — the pickled blueberries featured a particularly clever touch.
It’s these small but mighty touches that set Harvest apart, like the complimentary rolls served with house-made ramp butter, which is whipped to airy perfection. The subtle smoke imparted on the charred broccolini appetizer ($12) is complemented by crushed hazelnuts and creamy ricotta cheese and is yet another example of the attention to detail given to the composition of each dish.
This detail extends to the plating, which takes a modern turn. You’ll find striking black plates acting as a dramatic palette for several courses, including the broccolini and the hand-cut linguine ($26) pasta. Presented in a deconstructed format, the pasta is situated at the center with mounds of sauteed kale and a delightfully spicy Marcona dukkah spice and nut crumble flanking either side. Dollops of Fromage blanc and microgreens add only slight levity to the heat, which intensified with every bite.
The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente, however, the same execution was not as exacting when it came to our entree proteins. The lamb porterhouse ($29) arrived under a beautiful mess of fresh herbs and greens, but it was cooked to a medium-well, lacking richness and juiciness. Plenty of small touches like the spiced chickpeas and turnips left whole with their greens ensured the plate was still enjoyable. The same applies to the half fried chicken ($36). The breast portion was tender while the dark meat was on the dry side. The accompanying greens, gravy, and mashed potatoes, though, hit the mark and helped bring the dish along.
There was nary an error to be found in the cookery of the chef’s catch ($mkt), which was a generous square cut of halibut on this particular evening. Stunning in presentation and flavor, a brown butter vinaigrette was the ideal complement, as was the creative carrot pain perdu.
We wrapped up our evening just as it had begun — with strawberries. A shortcake with plump local berries and a tasty but far too scarce cream was featured in addition to the standard dessert menu, from which we ordered the apple butter meringue ($9), which was well-balanced and full of texture.
The attention to detail exhibited by the kitchen extends to the front of house team at Harvest. Our service was attentive, engaging and genuine. In a city where the term farm-to-table is often taken advantage of, Harvest is true to its word and does the farmers of Kentucky and Southern Indiana justice.
Reach freelance restaurant critic Lindsey McClave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars
Address: 624 E. Market St.
Children’s Menu: Child-friendly options available
Alcohol: Full bar with seasonal craft cocktail list
Vegetarian: Several vegetarian pastas, salads, and sides are available
Price Range: Expensive
Credit Cards: Yes
Access: Restaurant is handicap accessible
Parking: Street parking
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday; Closed Monday
- Courier Journal’s Review of Harvest 2019 February 27, 2020
- Harvest in The News Again – Insider Louisville’s Style Blueprint January 29, 2018
- A Great Harvest Review From Leo Weekly August 16, 2017
- Harvest Featured in the Courier-Journal September 14, 2016
- Harvest Restaurant – Taste of the Town May 28, 2016
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