Editor’s Note: There is a new contributor to Spinach Tiger. My husband, Doug Roberts, who eats all the food cooked here, has an exceptional palate, and enjoys dining out. He is an adventurous eater, enjoys fine dining as well as good street food. Sometimes he’s away on business and I’ve asked him to share those dining experiences.
In Doug’s words:
The Open Table App
I was driving through Louisville around dinner time on my way to Indianapolis. I pulled over and whipped out my trusty iPad and launched Open Table, my favorite app for finding restaurants when traveling for business. The iPad app works the best when it comes to mapping out a location. When I was on my way to Louisville, I searched in Map view to find something close to I-65.
If you don’t know about Open Table, it’s an electronic reservation system, that allows you to make a real time reservation into a participating restaurant’s system. When you book a table, your reservation is instantly recorded in the restaurant’s computerized reservation book.
The best part about Open Table is that you can earn points which give you credit when dining out. Sometimes restaurants have a special point value of 1000 points, which often helps us to decide a restaurant. This is great for business travelers as you can earn points on business meals you can use for taking your wife out later.
Harvest Restaurant a Locally Grown Restaurant
Then I looked at the menus of each option, looking to satisfy a craving for gnocchi. As soon as I spotted this on the menu at Harvest, the decision was made.
Everything about Harvest, a farm to table restaurant in the NuLu district on East Market Street, says comfort food. The decor is very rustic, warm, and inviting. The staff were all very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. The owners are very passionate about supporting local farmers and growers.
Traveling alone, I decided to eat at the bar. My bartender, Jason, was enthusiastic about the food as well as the drinks. I love it when all the staff knows their menu and shows some passion about the food.
There were many delicious looking and tempting items on the menu. Harvest is a farm to table restaurant sourcing local, sustainable ingredients.
There was someone at the bar eating the harvest pizza, which looked right up my ally. There was also a BBQ plate on the menu with grilled spicy lamb sausage, smoked baby back ribs, crispy chicken thigh, served with potato salad, spicy slaw, and pickled jalapeno bacon grits…wow! I found myself wishing I was there with ST and some other foodie friends so we could order a big selection of dishes to share so I could taste everything. When you travel with her to any restaurant, every plate is game to taste, which took me a while to get used to.
There were many tempting options, but I came here to satisfy my gnocchi craving, which I ordered, along with a Schlafly draft beer, at the bartender’s recommendation. Good choice.
Gnocchi, summer vegetable ragout, smoked onions, fennel butter, grilled bread
The entree came extremely fast, and at first look I was bummed as it appeared to be mostly vegetables. However, there were no complaints once I tasted them. The blend of favors and textures was pure perfection. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed vegetables more. And the grilled Tuscan bread was a perfect compliment to the dish. The vegetables included carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, some sort of leafy green, and what looked like some finely chopped onions, peppers, and celery. I had to ask Jason what Norwood is: a soft gruyere cheese with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor, which was finely grated over the dish.
It was an amazing dish, but I was wishing I had ordered a starter as I was still feeling a bit hungry, so I ordered the housemade potato chips as an after dinner snack. In hindsight this was a mistake because, as good as they were, they did not live up to the housemade potato chips from Cafe Margot in Nashville where I had eaten just a few days before. As I was eating the chips, a person just down from me got his BBQ plate. I can guarantee he was not hungry when he was done. Had my dish not been so delicious, I would have regretted not ordering the BBQ.
I did not really want desert, but I love finishing dinner with a small something minty to clean the palate, and their single scoop of mint julep ice cream with a light bourbon sauce was just perfect.
$30 before tax and tip, I left completely satisfied and with a new favorite restaurant in a town full of great eateries. The menu changes frequently based on the availability of fresh local ingredients, so I can’t wait to come back to Harvest in Louisville and see what’s new on the menu.