Recently checked out a relatively new restaurant in Durham, Harvest 18. It’s actually very close to Rise Biscuits and Donuts, the last place I wrote a review about. I’m always up for trying new things and eating at new places so I figured I’d give this place a shot.
Harvest 18 is a pretty cool farm to table restaurant that offers a daily menu that features Southern food made with really fresh ingredients. It’s always interesting to me when restaurants here in North Carolina self promote being “locally sourced” or “farm to table”. This state has some of the freshest and best produce around…shouldn’t restaurants automatically source locally?
Anyways, the overall layout of the restaurant was pretty nice. I was really impressed with the outdoor seating, which had a really classic Southern feel to it with lights hanging across beams, wooden tables, and metal chairs. All of the light posts were mounted in boxes with herbs like rosemary and mint which I thought was pretty cool. Even though the restaurant is in the middle of a shopping center with Target and Michaels, the outdoor seating was a nice implant of another world. I liked it.
The menu, which was dated to prove that they’re changed daily, had a lot of great choices. As an appetizer, we ordered the red pea hummus, which was pretty amazing. The hummus was garnished with some pickled vegetables so there was a nice contrast between tangy and creamy, crunchy and smooth, and salty and sweet. The whole wheat pita bread they used is also from one of my favorite places so that was a huge plus. (shoutout to Neomonde!)
I got the pan seared mahi mahi which was served with sautéed sweet potatoes and mustard greens all on top of some farro with a kind of balsamic sauce. You can never really go wrong with me with a dish like this. It was truly a simple but yet powerful dish; each element really spoke out on it’s own and was nicely balanced with each other. There was no heavy sauce or onslaught of herbs and spices which allows for the fresh components to be truly enjoyed. The most “complex” flavor on that plate was probably the balsamic…dressing? It was actually a pretty weird sauce that seemed a little out of balance with the rest of the dish BUT I do see why that it was meant to be a nice acidic contrast to everything else. Overall, the dish was pretty nicely done. I’ve always been a fan of fresh, local produce so I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed my dish.
All in all, I really enjoyed my lunch experience at Harvest 18. I am definitely a fan of their concept and hope to go back for dinner one day.