DC Harvest’s drink list definitely values quality over quantity. None of the beers really caught my eye, although my husband and father-in-law both found ones to their individual liking (a porter and an IPA, respectively), and I had a hard time choosing from their super unique house cocktails. I eventually settled on the Half Baked and my childhood self sure is glad I did, even if my adult-trying-to-lose-holiday-weight-and-get-back-to-triathlon-shape self severely regretted it: it’s basically a candy apple in liquid form. I have nothing bad to say about it–it was slightly smoky, fairly sweet, and ridiculously delicious.
My biggest criticism of this restaurant is that they work really hard to upsell their customers. A protracted and miserable first career in retail has made me innately able to spot this tactic and gives me PTSD flashbacks to the thousands of hours I spent trying to convince Borders customers to donate their favorite children’s book to Dolly Parton’s Books From Birth Foundation, like that alone would save the company from financial ruin. 2010 was a dark year for me. Ahem. Unfortunately, despite my ability to see right through their tactics, and despite the aforementioned desire for minor weight loss, we still ended up with the lamb donuts and a side of brussels sprouts for the table.
It turns out that lamb donuts are just crispy fried meatballs. They were more feta than lamb sausage, but still very tasty and served with a yogurt sauce that was even more delicious. They were also a really good value and easily fed all five of us.
There was duck confit on the menu so we all know what I got. At this point, I’m thinking I could create an entire separate blog just based around eating duck. It was super crispy on the outside with meat that came cleanly off the bone. I loved the chard it was served with, which wasn’t at all bitter, and the roasted turnips, which don’t get enough mainstream appreciation. It was also served with tiny sweet potatoes, but they weren’t worthy of diet ruining. Confit duck definitely is, though.
My husband got the lamb sirloin special, which was enormous.
It was soooooooo tender and perfectly medium-rare (though it can be cooked to order). DC Harvest didn’t replace his knife prior to serving this and it wasn’t a problem at all. If you like tahini and want to eat it on everything, this is your dish.
My in-laws both got pasta. I’ll start with my mother-in-law’s spaghetti:
While I personally wasn’t super crazy about the dish itself, I have to appreciate making a pasta dish with plenty of vegetables, which I generally feel are often lacking in restaurants. The ingredients were super quality, and I have to give snaps to any place that uses maitake mushrooms for any reason. The brussels sprouts are also pictured here. They had huge pieces of crispy, salty bacon but come on, guys. Spend five minutes and slice up your sprouts before cooking them. Whole mushy sprouts are the reason they got their bad rap to begin with. Pass.
My father-in-law got the pappardelle carbonara. It had the same deliciously huge lardons as the sprouts, a really nice-textured noodle, and a good balance of egg and cheese in the sauce. It also magically had broccoli! I’m not a pasta person but this was fucking good and I could have eaten it all day.
We stuck around for dessert, with my MIL taking the reins in ordering the orange cake. Would have been my last choice of the three sweet desserts they have, but hey, at least that made it less appealing to me. I snuck a bite. Dry, dry, dry. It wasn’t worth my time and if you actually wanted orange cake, you’d be disappointed. Grandma demolished it, but she is also notorious for her love of 7-Eleven hot dogs and her tendency to overplay everything, so take that with a grain of salt.
Price: $45 per person.
Bottom line: DC Harvest is mostly hit, with a little miss sprinkled in there for good measure. The proteins and beverages were all fantastic, the dessert not so much. Say no to upselling.