Chant with me now: farm-to-table, farm-to-table, farm-to-table…
Farm-to-table restaurants are the best. This movement and/or concept and/or moniker can be a broad one though. In the most simplest of terms, farm-to-table means local. It means food that is locally sourced from farmers, often within a set-parameter mile radius, for a set-percentage of ingredients on the menu. Now as much as I have a functional understanding of what a farm-to-table restaurant is, and as much as I am a self-proclaimed, in-the-know food blogger, I wasn’t entirely sure which restaurants in Cincinnati were considered farm-to-table. But a quick Google search yielded results like Bouquet, Red Feather, and Metropole. Of course, those are among my top most favorite.
But my support of farm-to-table restaurants is now only more solidified by having tried Harvest in Louisville during our weekend night away to Aloft Louisville Downtown. Besides the fact that these restaurants often make your conscious feel good, the food is typically really, really good.
We actually started our night with their biscuit appetizer special (picture didn’t turn out…). I’ve recently made quite a few trips south to hang and dine out, and I’m realizing that biscuits are a real and serious thing. They too are a movement I support. Harvest’s biscuits were little bite-size medallions of the savory kind made with bacon. Served with a sweet butter, the four bites we each had were piquant and dense and what you’d expect from a thoughtful biscuit.
Kenny’s entree was both a surprising and not surprising one. What was not surprising was his order – the chicken pot pie. Kenny is a pretty meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. He does tend to go for more dark meats – roasts, shanks, chops – but a chicken pot pie is in the same wheelhouse. What was surprising though was how good this was. My experiences with chicken pot pies are ones that are typically heavy on the gravy and peas. To me, they’re often just soupy, gelatinous messes that have never quite hit the spot like I would have hoped they would. This one though? None of the above. It was more stew-like, with that familiar darkly colored but lightly watery jus, and an emphasis on the meat. This one trickled deep into your gut and made you thankful for your home.
My choice was not surprising at all in that it was the sweet potato gnocchi. I, who is like, 75 percent vegetarian, will go with a gnocchi/pasta option more often than not. And while I feel like I know good gnocchi (sup Nicola’s, sup Abigail Street) this one surprised me and the surprise was simple – it was sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are just so superbly satisfying IMO, so that added flavor profile with the fluff of the pasta that I so much enjoy was pretty much a guarantee win.
And seeing that I was riding high on fun and conversation and drinks, I splurged on a dessert. Taking the bartender’s recommendation, we ordered the Cinnamon Chipotle Pot de Creme. The idea sounded enticing, but I am coming to learn that I am not a gal that likes serious spice and heat in my chocolate, which is a bummer because I am all about contradictions and contrasts. I want every taste bud satisfied when eating single bites, but I’m just not one to enjoy the heat. The creme was awesome though, don’t get me wrong, especially with the homemade whipped creme, but the chipotle finish was a zinger for me that I would have personally done without. Fun to try and I would recommend it if you’re the type, but if not, come join me on the outside of the window, looking into the party of cool people who can handle those kinds of confectioner adventures.
Harvest was the perfect punctuation mark on our mini-micro getaway for the night. It was in an ultra hip part of town (Nulu), not at all far away from where we were staying (Aloft), with the quality of food and hospitality that is particularly why I am all about going out and splurging on food and experiences.