Harvest Bistro: Perfectly Creative Cuisine
I was recently invited to lunch at Harvest Bistro on Main Street in Madison. My friend Laura and I were provided with the most delicious of experiences, and the chance to learn more about this "new" spot on Main Street that has quickly become THE spot I think of first when someone asks "where should we eat?"
As a resident of Madison for over 17 years now, I knew Harvest Bistro is in the location previously known as On a Roll (a perfectly good sandwich shop/gourmet deli... but I must say, not more memorable than being anything more than your usual perfectly good sandwich shop/gourmet deli). What I didn't quite realize is that Harvest Bistro IS On a Roll... but with a complete makeover and rebrand of decor, menu, food, feeling and idea. While owner, Tushar Patel has been in business in Madison for over 21 years (it will be 22 years on August 22 this year!) he officially opened as Harvest Bistro just last November, 2017. While he experienced some change and growth in his personal life, he decided to bring those changes into his restaurant as well... re-opening as Harvest Bistro "in symbolic reference to a small restaurant responding to the season of life he feels he has finally stepped into both personally and professionally." And what a gorgeous and delicious harvest it is!
Laura and I were treated to some of Harvest Bistro's favorite menu items. Our table was filled with a little buffet and we decided we wouldn't be able to pick out favorite flavors if questioned. Every bite seemed yummier than the last. We did a lot of sharing... and ended up with a bunch of empty plates. Our dishes included Coconut Grilled Chicken and Red Grapes: with celery and scallion salad, Grilled Chicken & Poached Pears over Greens w/Goat Cheese & tossed in Fig Vinaigrette (note: we think Fig Vinaigrette should become a staple condiment. YUM) Bistro Turkey: house baked with Goat Cheese, Apricot Jam, Greens on a 7 Grain Hero, Bistro Roast Beef: Wasabi Mayo, Cheddar Cheese, & Caramelized Onions on Brioche, Potato Salad (OMG you must try the potato salad. We audibly moaned when we took our first bite), Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake and Mango PanneCotta (which was a special seasonal offering not on the menu). The food was definitely visually appealing... and the flavors... such a mix of tastes. Sweets and salty... spicy and sweet. They say creative cuisine... they mean it.
The Mango PanneCotta demanded it's own spotlight. It was so fresh and light. Refreshing on the hot day we had lunch.
I could stop our review here... but last week Nick and I ran out for a last minute, unplanned date night. I insisted on Harvest Bistro since I had a look at their new dinner menu. Tushar recently added dinner to the restaurant schedule on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6pm-9:30pm. The menu is amazing. Fresh. Eclectic. Creative. We were given bread to start, a garlic spread with crostini bread, and then ordered Gazpacho and the Lobster & Corn Fritters to start. For our main course we had Braised Short ribs: soft polenta, braising liquid, sautéed greens, and the Rigatoni with Brisket Bolognese: diced mirepoix, basil and shaved romano. And for dessert, Chocolate Lava Cake with creme anglaise & berries. While I have to praise the flavors... I also have to talk about the portions. The waitress let us know that the menu is served as "half-portions". In reality the menu is set up with perfect potions. We left completely satisfied. Having bread, appetizers, dinner, and dessert... I wasn't STUFFED. I was satisfied. I wasn't left wishing I had had room for dessert. It was perfect. We've already decided our next date night will be back at Harvest Bistro.
I can't rave enough about Harvest Bistro. Location, atmosphere, food, portions, prices, service. Not a single complaint. (Tushar... you're our new favorite.)
Now... who wants to come with me for breakfast? Did you know they have a breakfast menu too???
Harvest Bistro - 50 1/2 Main Street, Madison, NJ.