DC Harvest: Our New Favorite H Street Restaurant

23 Oct
First Floor at DC Harvest

First Floor at DC Harvest

Phrases such as “seasonal,” “local,” and “farm-to-table” have become so overused in restaurants across the country that they have begun to lack meaning and simply induce eye-rolling amongst diners.  Seemingly anyone can throw a few “local” or “seasonal” vegetables on a plate and claim their restaurant fits this bill.  While such restaurants are a dime a dozen at this point, restaurants that truly embrace local, seasonal sourcing through close relationships with farmers and suppliers and combine it with superior culinary skills in the kitchen, warm service in the front of the house, and a focus on their neighborhood are truly rare.  DC Harvest is such a place and has quickly become our favorite restaurant on H Street.

Zatar Seasoned Turkey at DC Harvest

Zatar Seasoned Turkey at DC Harvest

Brothers Arthur and Jared Ringel bring decades of experience to the front and back of the house at DC Harvest.  Arthur’s resume includes graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in New York along with stints at D.C. culinary destinations BLT Steak, Vermillion, Vidalia, and Hank’s Oyster Bar, where he became head chef.  Jared’s restaurant management experience spans over a dozen years around the D.C. area, including being both a general manager and a franchisee for several concepts.  Their experience shines through in both the food and the service.

Bar at DC Harvest

Bar at DC Harvest

The menu changes frequently depending upon what is in season and what they are able to source fresh.  DC Harvest does truly embrace the true meanings of “season” and “local” as it attempts to source as many ingredients as possibly locally.  You will notice that the seasonality of the restaurant extends to the drink menu as well.  In addition to the regular dinner menu, they offer four specials that rotate by day of the week.

Diner does not begin with a standard bread basket but with roasted butternut squash chips.  The lightly salted snack provides a creative start to your meal that is unlikely to fill you up too much.  After a cocktail or a local beer, move on to an appetizer or an appetizer portion of one of their pastas.  During opening week in September, we enjoyed simply prepared heirloom tomato salad that was a nice farewell to summer.  More recently, we feasted on a unique fall beet salad that included cheese, olives, and fried chickpeas.  The sourness of the olives and the crunch of the chickpeas combined with the natural sweetness of the beets to produce a dish that stands apart from the myriad of beet dishes that are rolled out around town with the start of fall.

Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad at DC Harvest

Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad at DC Harvest

Our favorite dish so far has been the Zatar seasoned roast turkey breast.  Yes, a roast turkey breast sounds boring.  However, this dish is the best seasoned item that we’ve eaten all year.  The Zatar seasoning forms a light crust that ensures that each bite has a dual balanced slightly spicy and salty taste.  Plated over ancient grains (Kamut), mushrooms, and swiss chard and topped with a crispy piece of turkey skin, it’s a dish that you will want to have over and over again.  A close runner-up is the fried chicken.  To keep the chicken tender, Chef Arthur Sous Vides it after marinating it with a simple combination of garlic, herbs, and buttermilk.  It is then battered in an old bay seasoned mixture and fried to order when you want it.  When it arrives at your table, you are given a generous three piece portion along with a side of vegetable slaw.

To finish, we have only tried one of their desserts: the s’mores pot de creme.  We’ve only tried that one dish because we keep on ordering it.  Check out the combination of caramel and raspberry marshmallows and you will understand why.

DC Harvest has nailed the summer and autumn seasons so far.  We can’t wait to see what they have in store for the winter.

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6 Responses to “DC Harvest: Our New Favorite H Street Restaurant”

  1. Walter Rowe October 24, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    All photos credited to Walter Rowe (www.WalterRowe.com). DC Harvest is a great place.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DC Harvest Debuts Late Night Happy Hour | District Cuisine - November 19, 2014

    […] DC Harvest (517 H Street, NE) is debuting a late night happy hour that will run from 11 pm to 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights.  All draft beers and wines by the glass will be $5 and specialty cocktails will be $6.  They will also have happy hour food specials including a crispy blue catfish taco with slaw and Old Bay aioli for $4, a pork belly taco with spicy romesco sauce for $4, a local cheese plate for $4, and a housemade cookie plate for $4. […]

  2. DC Harvest Debuts Winter Menu | District Cuisine - January 23, 2015

    […] You can check out our review of DC Harvest here. […]

  3. DC Harvest Rolling Out Delivery and Cook at Home Bacon | District Cuisine - June 19, 2015

    […] of DC Harvest (517 H Street, NE) will soon be able to enjoy the restaurant’s food on nights when they may […]

  4. DC Harvest Celebrates One Year in the Neighborhood | District Cuisine - September 14, 2015

    […] Harvest (517 H Street) recently celebrated its first anniversary on H Street (see our review here).  We caught up with co-owners Arthur and Jared Ringel to discuss the first year and what is on […]

  5. DC Harvest Debuts New Bar Manager, Mixes Up Cocktail Menu | District Cuisine - October 14, 2015

    […] We’ve loved DC Harvest’s food for awhile, but recently DC Harvest has changed up its drink menu and now has several new creative cocktails available.  Under the leadership of new bar manager Matthew Fisk, DC Harvest’s drink menu has branched out from only having domestic alcohols to instead having a mix of domestic and international.  Fisk–a former philosophy and ancient language graduate–comes to DC Harvest by way of New Orleans and Proof, Vinoteca, Ripple, and Daikaya in D.C.  In discussing the changes to the cocktail menu, Fisk says “when I came here to DC Harvest, the bar was completely stocked with offerings that only came from the United States…I strongly advocated for a more international presence behind our bar…the cocktail is an American institution, like rock and roll.  Its origin is multiple.  Mixing together ingredients from different lands is how this country began, and what often makes the U.S. a wonderful place to hail from.  We will always feature spirits from our friends and neighbors at home, but we will also not forget that most of us came here from elsewhere.” […]

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