Friday, June 21, 2013

Strawberry Harvest Review Dinner

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining a few other bloggers for Harvest's latest The Harvest Review dinner. This month, the tasting dinner focused on strawberries (from Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon), and was appropriately named "Berry Good Time."

How The Harvest Review dinners work is you pay $44 to enjoy four courses, each paired with a different wine (tax and gratuity not included). Executive Chef Mary Dumont, Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury, and Wine Director John Mooradian present the dinner before it begins, explaining each dish and why they paired it with each particular wine.

Although The Harvest Review dinners are a set menu - and although Harvest's website says they are "unable to accommodate special requests" - I was definitely taken care of for being a vegetarian. Chef Dumont, when presenting the dishes, even made sure to include the vegetarian course they prepared for me. 

For the first course - while the omnivores enjoyed a Grilled Kurobuta Pork Sausage - I had homemade tortellinis filled with smoked ricotta. Like the sausage, mine also came with pickled green strawberries, toasted brioche, and strawberry black pepper gastrique.

This dish was paired with a crisp white wine (Herdade Do Esporao, Gouveio Blend, Alentejano, Portugal 2011). I don't usually love smoke flavor, but I adored the whipped, smoky ricotta with the tart strawberry gastrique. And the pickled green strawberries? Surprisingly delicious and interesting.

The second course was a Lavender Compressed Strawberry Salad, comprised of lime yogurt, lavender olive oil powder, and Eva's Pea Greens.

Paired with a refreshing rose (Chateau Virgile, Rose, Costieres De Nimes, France 2011), this was one ideal summer salad. I loved the idea of using pea greens, and the innovative lavender powder added a welcome unique flavor throughout the dish.

The third course was a Seared Scottish Salmon, served over a Yukon Gold potato, leek, and smoked bacon hash (I just ate around the bacon). Under the hash was a strawberry, ginger, and rhubarb jam. 

The salmon was paired with one of my favorite red wines, a pinot noir (Sterling Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Carneros, California 2011). The flaky, tender salmon with the soft, well-seasoned potatoes was an incredible combination. The jam was also subtle enough to help add some sweetness and tartness to the dish without being overpowering.

For our fourth and final course, we had Fresh Strawberry Sorbet, which came with strawberry meringue, lovage cream, and oat cracker.

Paired with a sweet moscato (Saracco, Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2011), this was one of the most interesting desserts I've ever had. The sorbet was fresh and full of strawberry flavor, and the silky lovage cream and crunchy meringues and oat crackers added necessary, varying textures to the dish.

While we were eating our dessert, Chef Mercury came out to see how we liked it. While we were talking to him, Harvest's PR rep mentioned that Chef Mercury makes all of his own sea salt. Like, he actually goes out at an ungodly hour in the morning to forage his own. We even had the pleasure of tasting his latest batch, pictured below. He adds his fresh, flaky sea salt to a lot of his desserts at Harvest.

Overall, we had a fabulous, seasonal, and mostly local meal at Harvest for their latest Harvest Review dinner. I highly recommend checking one out!

What's your favorite way to enjoy strawberries this time of year? I just love eating them as is. ;)

This meal was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

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  1. they're so hard to resist right out of the container :) but i did use the majority of the ones we picked this past weekend for jam! great great meal, love harvest!

  2. The dinner looks amazing! So many creative ways to use strawberries!

    Personally, I love to macerate strawberries with a little Grand Marnier and sugar and serve them with lightly sweetened whipped creme fraiche. So. Amazing.

    1. Um, that sounds SO good!

  3. This dinner was so good! I love when restaurants can take a single ingredient and showcase it in so many different ways. I love ripe red summer strawberries just on their own!

  4. The sorbet looks especially good to me right now!

  5. I've only been to Harvest once, but it was SO awesome. This dinner looks fabulous, especially the dessert!