It’s great to eat seasonally, if you’re able—it’s better for you, the food tastes better, and it’s better for the environment. We’re fortunate to have an array of incredible, small restaurants in Washington that provide a bevy of seasonal fare. Some do so better than others—so I have a few go- to faves. Regardless of locale, I love it when I see tomatoes swapped out for root vegetables come fall.
My favorite little spot to frequent for a weeknight dinner is DC Harvest, a restaurant sincerely dedicated to seasonal, local fare—made with regional ingredients whenever possible and prepared in house by the chef and co-owner, Arthur Ringel. Arthur does everything in house: from the bacon served at brunch, to the cocktail bitters used in the latest concoction behind the bar, to the cold brew.
I love DC Harvest because it serves up great food, including some of my favorite go to dishes (oysters, short ribs, scallops)—with absolutely no pretense. The vibe is “come as you are, we’re happy to have you. And we don’t care what you’re wearing.” With all the fan fare restaurants receive nowadays, it’s refreshing to have a restaurant with incredible food and absolutely zero ego. Because, you know how chefs can be.
It was a beautiful fall evening so I rode my little blue bicycle over to H Street to meet with Alana, a dear friend who had just received a prestigious award at the office. A great excuse to celebrate over new seasonal cocktails. I love sitting at the bar at DC Harvest, as it often grants access to the bartender and the chef. Plus the Carrera marble allows for great Instagram shots, fulfilling my basic Bitch dreams.
I sampled the Thyme for Fall, a draft cocktail made with apricot infused Sagamore rye whiskey and served in a tumbler glass with a large block of ice. It was delicious—the perfect blend of booze and sweetness. Served chilled, it went down far too easily.
Meanwhile, Alana sampled the White Wedding, made with Green Hat gin, elderflower liquor, Thai basil, cantaloupe, lemon juice, and Prosecco. This concoction was one for the record books, as it contained all sorts of delicious ingredients that came together well.
While DC Harvest changes much of its menu, it always leaves the bacon and asiago savory doughnuts and the artisanal cheese plate on the menu, so a Bitch never has to do without those necessities. And, while the menu changes seasonally, there are always a few new pastas, an iteration of pork belly, and a variation on scallops. You can count on that.
We began with oysters, as we always do, served with the chef’s house-made pickled watermelon mignonette, my favorite way to eat oysters. The oysters are Rappahannock, as might be expected by a restaurant with a local focus.
Next up, we shared two new appetizers: the beet salad and the grilled gulf shrimp. The golden beets were tossed in a carrot miso vinaigrette, and served with radishes and fresh green beans atop baby arugula. I love radishes and beets so this salad was easy for me to devour. Every bite was crunchy and fresh, and I appreciated that the salad was dressed in the appropriate ratio of vinaigrette.
The gulf shrimp were grilled and served with a Yuzu Kosho pesto, which was incredible. There was also a wild ramp kimchi, which was inventive but I don’t love kimchi. Alana enjoyed it, however. We definitely fought amicably over the last shrimp.
We were feeling carnivorous (iron, ladies!) so we eschewed the quinoa cakes and spelt spaghetti and opted instead for the pork belly and the strip steak. The pork belly was roasted in fennel and served with cider glazed vegetables, savory rye bread pudding, and a dried plum puree. The pork belly, which is sourced from an all-natural farm in North Carolina, was incredible as always.
The steak was enormous, and topped with a dollop of house-made chive butter. There’s nothing I love more than a juicy grilled steak topped with butter, so this of course melted my heart and my willpower.
Another menu mainstay is the s’mores pot du creme, which is a dark chocolate creamy custard topped with toasted marshmallow and served with house-made, super moist graham cracker cookies. They’d be insane to ever take this off the menu, as this little pot du heaven is one of the better desserts I’ve ever sampled. And I always order dessert, Bitches.
In the name of blogging, we also sampled the seasonal PB&J, which was a beautiful plate of olive oil cake a peanut butter gelato, a concord grape jam, roasted peanuts, and black salt. I was sort of lackluster about this dessert, until I had a bite and my opinion changed instantly.
Get thee to H Street, to sample the new salads, steak, and PB&J dessert.
517 H Street N.E.
Bitches Who Brunch partners with DC Harvest. While this article was written independently by us, we do receive compensation from the company.