Met up with a friend last night for dinner at Harvest by The Patio, which is located at 10th & J St. downtown in the old Carnation building. This is a hybrid concept from the prolific Patio Group, one that welds “clean” eating with grab and go options. It is primarily a lunch spot right now and suffice it to say, our dinner was not especially successful. In fact from a Patio restaurant it was disappointing.
The restaurant is on 2 levels. The entry level is a small vestibule with an upright, open front grab and go case for salads and such. Apparently, you are supposed to order your beverages with the hostess, get your number and then go upstairs to be seated and await your food. But with the bar upstairs, how do you know what to order for a drink? And upstairs is pretty small, but does have some great murals of rural America and the fields, along with 5 or 6 flat screen TVs.
The menu is actually pretty interesting, which is one of the things that prompted us to try it. We ordered 2 items off the appetizer list - chicken oysters and eggplant.
Both were pretty good, tho’ for hot apps they were lukewarm at best. That didn’t affect the eggplant too badly, but lukewarm fried foo? Not good. The chicken oysters came with an overwhelming amount of sweet chili garlic sauce, which got sweeter and sweeter with each bite. Serve the dish hot and dial back the chile garlic sauce and the dish would be a winner.
Neither entree was successful.
Here’s the veggie curry. I didn’t get to taste. My friend said it was fine, but underwhelming
The roasted lemon za’atar chicken was a clear miss. The white polenta was a flavorless,gluey mess underneath and that bright orange sauce overtly sour. It neither complimented nor enhanced any component in the dish. The chicken was tough and that za’atar tasted musty and old. The broccolini was great, but stone cold. Neither dish was hot enough. If you’re going to have a kitchen downstairs and a dining room upstairs, you need to make sure you can deliver hot food to the diner while it is still hot…not warm, not lukewarm, not sorta still warm, and not cold.
I like the Patio Group of restaurants and have eaten at most of them multiple times. Perhaps it was because we dined on a Monday, or perhaps it’s because we went for dinner, but whatever the reason, Harvest by the Patio was a big, fat miss and disappointment. See no reason to return. However, I would encourage everyone to try it and form their own opinion. Your experience maybe very different than mine.