Harvest is the new seafood-heavy restaurant from the people behind defunct mussel bar Bouchot. Mussels still feature prominently on the menu, but on the night we visited they were out. As were oysters. And lobster. A shame, because for the most part what we’ve tried at Harvest is pretty decent.
The decor might slam home the rustic theme so incessantly it feels like dining in the seven dwarves’ cottage, but the food feels modern without playing to fads, and has the flavor to match its simple, uncluttered plating. Our favorite is the Iberico pork secreto (B980): nothing more than thick-cut and beautifully-cooked slices of pinkish pork on top of sharp and slightly sweet braised fennel.
The gnocchi and pheasant ragout (B380) is another non-seafood highlight, though the “ragout” is more like a pheasant-meat hash. This makes for a pretty dry dish, but the ricotta gnocchi is fluffy and flavorsome. We also like the char-grilled octopus on a bed of warm fennel and chorizo (B420). As advertised, the octopus meat comes nicely charred on the outside yet tender inside. The oily dressing and tangy chorizo match it well.
The frutti di mare (B580) is less successful. Cooked in advance, this stew of Hokkaido scallop, octopus, shrimps, mussels and sea bass in a tomato sauce managed to escape this particular night’s seafood shortage, but to no one’s benefit. The mussels are tough, the scallop flavorless and the tomato sauce completely flat. Having tried a very similar dish at Peppina recently for B200 less, it leaves little room for excuses. (Peppina’s didn’t have Hokkaido scallop, but it did have flavor.)
Wines are all modestly priced, with no bottles above B5,000, plenty below B2,000 and a few unremarkable options by the glass (go for the B350 Babich Sauvignon Blanc). Cocktails stick to the old school: martini, old fashioned, negroni and the like (all B295). It’s tough to make a verdict on Harvest. It has its shining moments, but in the end, when a restaurant that prides itself on mussels takes your reservation without mentioning it’s out of mussels (and had been for three days), that’s tough to swallow.
This review took place in April 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.