[by naveen]

After months of eating lunches at the Dudley House Dining Hall, I took advantage of Restaurant Week to dine with a friend from the dorms as Harvest (interestingly, it wasn't that much more expensive than the average meal cost on the Harvard dining plan). I chose the restaurant since I read about one of the chefs in the book How I Learned to Cook. The website advertises "contemporary New England cuisine focused on the region's finest ingredients," which seems to be what is trendy in the Boston dining scene right now. Below is the play-by-play of the meal:

Service: I didn't write about the service at the Rialto (which was friendly, efficient, and uobstrusive), but it was quite noticeable at the Harvest. The wait-staff were polite, concise, and formal at a level that I've never experienced before. It made me want to read Waiter Rant and learn more about what goes on behind-the-scence at the front of the house.

Bread basket: This was actually one of the highlights of the lunch. The cornbread and raisin-walnut bread were so good that we actually ordered a second basket.

Market Greens salad: Granny Smith Apples, Walnuts, and Sherry Vinaigrette: The salad was good, but the salad bar at Dudley has considerably raised my standards for what I consider a salad. I am still on the lookout for a restaurant that does something really spectacular with the salad course.

Forbidden Black Rice Tart: Baby Carrots, Baby Turnips, Boy Choy, & Hen of the Woods Mushrooms: My first experience with Forbidden Black Rice - the grains of rice stuck together in a tart, but were well-lubricated with sauce to slide smoothly past each other (I've been spending too much time are rheologists in the physics labs). It provided the perfect substrate for a pile or artfully arranged veggies, with a spicy red sauce that accentuated their individual flavors.

Roasted Apple Pain De Genes: Vanilla Creme, Apple Conserve: I didn't plan on getting dessert, but I shared this with my friend and was quite satisfied. It's hard to go wrong with a combination of apple, vanilla, and creme and I don't really have much more to write.

This probably represents the opposite end of the spectrum from the hoardes of Harvard students who take out food from the dining halls to be consumed while keeping their eyes glued to a computer screen and their fingers never far from a keyboard.

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