By Guest Contributor Ben Kemble (@TheKemble)
The ubiquity of the phrase, “Farm to Table” in today’s restaurant world has seemingly turned those three words into a cliché more than a selling point, a slogan that entices your taste buds about as little as seeing the word, “Organic” displayed in the supermarket. While this Portlandia segment-worthy concept of farm fresh ingredients may have run it’s course in the minds of foodies, Harvest restaurant in Louisville, KY is taking things to a new level of fresh – and we’re celebrating them for it.
Located in the Nulu district on 624 E. Market St., a hop, skip, and a send from Climb Nulu; Harvest is nestled between many other noteworthy eateries like Toast on Market and the Garage Bar, but it stands out on it's own. Walking in you’ll find a clean décor of whitewashed walls and repurposed wood tables. The most important addition to their theme is the simple black and white portraits of smiling faces hung on every wall, accompanied by a large map of the city. Serving as a visual testament to their local approach in the kitchen, these faces are none other than some of the farmers who grow the food used at Harvest and the map lets you see exactly where they are located around the Louisville area.
The staff was friendly and the environment, semi-casual. We went on a Sunday afternoon for brunch, which runs from 10 – 2:30. (If you go between it’s busiest hours of 11 and 12 you may have to wait for a table.) The menu boasts a wide bourbon and cocktail selection and you’ll find several local choices like Ale-8-One or their Harvest Barrel Aged Manhattan (barrel aged in house). The menu is subject to change depending on what is in season or what can be obtained locally, which is why you won’t find any seafood on the menu, but you can find everything from burgers to burgoo.
I ordered the Harvest Special that consisted of pork shoulder and roasted corn enchiladas served alongside an heirloom tomato salad and fried corn tortilla slices. I also tried the scrambled egg sandwich with Canadian bacon, St. Jerome cheese, smoked tomato mayo all topped on a pretzel croissant. (I've never met a bread I didn't like but the pretzel croissant was perhaps the greatest food-fusion I've tasted since bacon jam.) Finally for dessert, despite the fact it was consumed well before the other dishes, we ordered the brioche french toast. It comes smothered in maple syrup and a bourbon peach sauce that I swear will redefine your definition of true love.
Portions are reasonable and the service was moderately fast. Lunch and brunch prices are considerably cheaper than dinner, ranging from about $20/person compared to that of about $35+/person later in the evening. In some cases you might be hesitant to pay extra for the lackluster “farm fresh” catchphrase but at Harvest, they transcend the original concept. It’s a difference you can truly see and taste - and it’s for that reason they earn their mark as a local Louisville (and personal) favorite. For more information check out their website at harvestlouisville.com.