One of my favorite hidden gems is DC Harvest, an American restaurant on H Street that focuses on local, organic, and fresh fare from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. I’m drawn to DC Harvest by its incredibly fresh, healthy fare, its constantly changing menu, and its laid back, friendly ambiance.
The menu changes with the seasons, as Chef Arthur sources his vegetables, meats, and cheeses from local farms and purveyors, and makes everything—from the bacon to the cocktail bitters—by hand in house in an oh-so-small kitchen. It’s an impressive operation.
Often, when a girlfriend wants to catch up over a relaxed dinner, I nominate DC Harvest as the locale and it’s not hard to get her to oblige. Recently, Alana and I made our way over to catch up at the bar over summer cocktails and fresh fare.
No matter what, I begin each meal at DC Harvest with a half a dozen fresh oysters and the cheeseboard—be it brunch or dinner. (Read the brunch review here.) Both are just that good. The oysters are served chilled on a bed of greens with lemon and a house-made mignonette. Like the rest of the menu, the oysters change seasonally—but I was quite fond of the medium size, medium brine oysters available.
It’s hard to mess up a cheese board, but here the house-made bacon shallot jam is the clincher—it pairs so well with a simple wheat bread and a firm or semi-firm cheese.
New and perfect for summer is the Old Bay Fried chicken, served with a watermelon cucumber salad and a grilled ancho orange corn on the cob. This dish was like a backyard BBQ on a plate—while the chicken initially appeared super dense, the crispy breading was actually quite thin and the chicken was incredibly moist. It’s so easy for chicken to be boring and dry—this fried chicken was incredible. The Ancho Corn on the cob was phenomenal. And I respected the chef’s variation on the watermelon cucumber salad in that it also had microgreens. I never eat enough veggies, so I love it when they are snuck into a dish like fried chicken.
We also sampled the scallops, which change seasonally in their preparation. True to summer, the scallops were served with tomatoes, basil and pea shoots—some of my favorite summer vegetables. The scallops were topped with tomato chili jam, pea shoots, and the signature DC Harvest bacon, served atop yellow beans.
While I’m always so satiated, it’s impossible to skip dessert at DC Harvest. I regularly order the s’mores pot du creme, because there really isn’t anything more delicious than this dessert, which is a smooth, creamy milk chocolate topped with toasted marshmallow and served in a mason jar. In the interest of research, we went with the seasonal dessert, selecting the roasted peach semifreddo, which was served over a coconut macaroon crumble and plated with dollops of salted caramel sauce and fresh blueberries. It’s a unique dessert: cold and creamy, but not quite ice cream. The crumble and the salted caramel added some sweetness—this unique dish is worth a summer visit to the H Street spot.
517 H St. N.E.
BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with DC Harvest. While this article was written independently, we do receive compensation from the company.