I am absolutely delighted to review Harvest Kitchen for you, as it’s a brand new restaurant in Toronto, that has great values, excellent food, super nice people, and is neighbours with one of my favourite restaurants of all-time (The Harbord Room).
It was a last-minute decision to go out for dinner, and although I was confident with the menu online for the ingredients they use and being able to make everyone happy, I had to reach out about my sister’s nut allergy before going. Luckily, Jill, one of the owners, responded to my email promptly that they could most certainly accommodate allergies, but couldn’t 100% guarantee (which we are used to) and made sure to remind us to bring an epipen (my sister always has two on her body).
We arrived when it was cool and rainy outside, but as soon as I stepped inside, I immediately felt warm and happy in this small space. There was a cheerful atmosphere in the room, which was packed already, which is so great to see in a new restaurant. We were greeted by Jill, who introduced us to Kevin, who seated us in their last table, which was in a small room with a window into the kitchen. It’s always a good sign when they don’t mind you looking into the kitchen, and have nothing to hide!
We ordered tap water as usual, and they brought it in a cool looking blue glass bottle and explained that it was also filtered. Their drink menu is great – the usual booze plus a great selection of fresh juices and teas (and NO Coke, but some organic sodas). They even have wine on tap, which is certainly more environmentally friendly than having it in a bottle with a label, so my mom ordered a glass of red, and my dad enjoyed his usual organic beer. My brother read the description for the juice called “The Cure”, which includes his favourite combo of beet, apple, carrot , ginger and lemon, and ordered it right away. I really enjoyed the juice called “The Warrior” a green juice with pineapple, jalapeno, celery, ginger, kale, spinach, parsley and salt. Trust me, I know it sounds strange, but it tastes absolutely awesmazing. My sister enjoyed the “Blushing Bride” which combined cantaloupe, lemon, raspberry and rosewater. Everyone was happy and we toasted to our winter break ahead that was just beginning, for me and my siblings, anyway!
We had a little trouble deciding on what to order, because there was actually so many options, but eventually we settled on sharing a French Fry Salad to start, which included many types of wild mushrooms and lots of greens including kale, arugula and spinach. If you like garlic, you will love this dish. My brother, who 5 minutes before didn’t like mushrooms, gobbled more than his fair share down so fast, it was like they were going to run away.
I ordered the No-Meat Meatball Melt ‘Wich – it was an “HK Favourite” and highlighted in yellow on the menu, so I figured that was a great choice, even though they only opened last week, so I wonder who’s favourite it is! The no-meat meatballs were made of barley, lentils, sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions and were incredible, somehow almost light and fluffy, even using those dense ingredients! They were smothered with marinara sauce, and served open-faced on a Harbord Bun with cheddar melted on top. I also couldn’t help myself, and ordered a side of sweet potato fries, with garlic aioli, which may I add, was quite excellent. They do have a long list of dipping sauces, so if you like to dip, you are going to love this feature on their menu. My sister ordered a veggie club sandwich complete with avocado, cucumber, tomato, sprouts and cheddar. She did like it, although devoured her coleslaw and said it was so good. I think she would have eaten 10 more of those. My father enjoyed his Southern North American bowl, which I tried and was quite good. It was chock full of brown rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and more, and the chipotle flavour perfectly balanced everything in this bowl out. My little brother insisted on ordering the gluten-free chicken pot-pie, which is odd because he almost never eats meat and loved it,to all of our surprise. I haven’t seen him eat as much, or as many different things as he did tonight at Harvest Kitchen, which says a LOT. There’s definitely something on the menu for you. My mother said that it was the best vegan meal she has had at a non-vegan restaurant. She had a version of the No-Meat Meatballs and Marinara, but asked for it to be served over a gluten-free quinoa pasta instead of on bread with cheese. They were very happy to make that change, and I have to say, it tasted quite awesome. We all sampled it and each of us would order it next time, with ease. You should try this dish, even if you eat regularly eat meat, you will find these to be remarkably good – since they are open everyday, why not try going for Meatless Monday?
We rarely get to have dessert at restaurants because of my sister’s allergy, and they are usually loaded with ingredients we don’t eat, or don’t eat much of. It was really exciting when we saw that they serve Sweets from the Earth cake! My brother insisted on ordering the carrot cake (as you can see in the picture below – he really wanted this!), and we weren’t going to win an argument against him, so we ordered a large slice with forks for all. We ate it so quickly, I didn’t remember to take a picture, until it was already gone (plate picture below!).
I know this is a spot that we can frequent, and it actually is even a place that I think my 100-year-old grandfather is going to like. They serve everything from burgers and fries to kale salad in a comfortable space. It is evident that a lot of time and thought went into this restaurant, and I really appreciated the time that Jill, Owen and Kevin as well as the rest of the very friendly staff put into this establishment, and talking to me too! I can’t wait to go back and try brunch there soon.
Please note that they have great built-in security as their Expeditor is ex-army and their sous-chef is an MMA expert (Mixed Martial Arts), you can see them through the kitchen window.
Harvest Kitchen stands for real food, and that is what we should all stand for. Or sit down at a table at their restaurant and eat! Read their “ANSWERS” section to understand how great they are.
Enjoy all of the pictures!