I have a secret gem of a restaurant, and I really don’t want to share the news. Over on H Street, there’s a cute little spot serving up an awesome brunch, stellar cocktails, and really delicious, affordable farm-to-table fare.
We reviewed DC Harvest for brunch last winter, and have returned multiple times for dinner and drinks. The unpretentious, casual American restaurant is located on 5th and H St. N.E., and focuses on sustainable, local fare—with 85% of the menu locally sourced (i.e. from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed) at any given time.
The food just tastes better, being that it’s fresh, local, and mostly organic, and the kitchen and bar is whipping up some really unique dishes. Like what? Well, bacon doughnuts and Old Fashioned Lollipops, for starters. Yep, you head that right—boozy lollipops and doughnut holes with bacon.
I grabbed the Bitches, Shruti and Annie, and we headed over for dinner. Each time I dine at DC Harvest, I order the cheese plate and the oysters—because those are two of the best things to order any time, any where. Both are delightful at DC Harvest—the oysters are local from Chesapeake Bay and served with a pickled watermelon mignonette, a unique touch.
We were surprised by a savory doughnut option—and although it wasn’t brunch we knew we had to try. The savory doughnuts are filled with the cherrywood smoked bacon and Monterey Jack cheese. They’re fluffy, warm, and doughy, and a really unique flavor, particularly when dipped in the accompanying Creole mustard.
Behind the bar, Matthew has a creative, memorable cocktail menu—take the Swampoodle Mai Tai, made with lyon rum, Prichards rum, almond, clove, triple dry sherry, and lime. The summer cocktail was so popular he’s keeping it on the menu this fall.
The cocktail menu changes seasonally, and he makes his own shrubs and elixirs fresh. Currently, he’s serving the H Street, with Leopold Brothers Gin, strawberry shrub, and tonic. The Old Fashioned Lollipops are just an extra bonus.
DC Harvest is known for its cherrywood bacon, which is cured, smoked, and hand-cut in house by the chef. The bacon is humanely raised at Cheshire Farms in North Carolina, and hormone free. That same pork is used in the pork belly entree, a seasonal dish for fall. The pork belly is marinated in an Asian lemongrass chili, and then grilled. It’s a hearty helping of three pieces, and cooked a bit more thoroughly than other pork belly I’ve experienced. It wasn’t as fatty, and had a bit more substance, which I really enjoyed. It was served with a mix of farro, black rice, kale, and almonds, which sounded a bit boring, but once I took a bite it was anything but.
Our table of Bitches shared the most popular seasonal side: the parsnips and turnips, roasted with sage and prunes. I rarely eat these vegetables, so I enjoyed an irregular flavor on my palate. Plus, roasted root vegetables just remind me of fall.
There are so many great vegetables at DC Harvest—vegetables and meat! Perfect for those who are paleo or health conscious. Take the scallops, which I selected rather than the short rib. Now, I love scallops—and these were delicious—but the vegetable accoutrement was more exciting. The scallops were served with a medley of roasted Brussels sprouts, red kuri pumpkin, Shitake mushrooms, and pumpkin seeds. The medley was packed with flavor and the pumpkin seeds added a nice crunch—I just love pumpkin seeds for fall.
I can honestly say this is one of those times when I was far too excited about vegetables—that and Daikaya’s cucumbers.
No girls night is complete without dessert, so we ordered two. The chocolate pot du creme can’t be beat—it’s covered in toasted vanilla marshmallows. If that wasn’t enough, it’s served with raspberry jam thumb print cookies that are moist and packed with cinnamon flavor—some of the softest cookies I can recall having.
BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with DC Harvest. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the company.