The New Haven outpost of Harvest Wine Bar is the fifth restaurant for siblings Kleber, Nube, and Vincente Siguenza, the the trio behind Cava in New Canaan, 55 Degrees in Fairfield, Scena in Darien, and sister restaurant Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich. CTbites reviewed the Greenwich location almost a year ago, and many of the same culinary observations apply to this newly opened New Haven outpost on Chapel Street. I stopped in recently to experience the restaurant’s $19 two-course prix fixe lunch, perhaps one of the best downtown lunch options among New Haven’s fine dining restaurants.
Harvest is situated amid prime New Haven real estate on busy Chapel Street, steps below street level in the former location of 20-year old restaurant Scoozi, at the corner of the building that houses the Yale Center for British Art. The L-shaped restaurant, with wood paneled accents, concrete walls, and dark tables and chairs, floods with light during the day thanks to glass walls facing out toward the atrium.
The restaurant’s approach is a self-titled “custom cuisine from farm to fork,” anchoring the menu in modern American farm-to-table territory, with quite a few Latin and Mediterranean influences. Executive Chef Gustave Christman III oversees both Harvest locations, with identical menus. During lunch, you can expect the scale of the dishes to be appropriately smaller than what you’ll experience at dinner, and options abundant for a two course selection at $19.
First course offerings include American favorites and appropriations such as Lobster bisque, a three-cheese mac and cheese, spicy salmon tartar, and beer steamed mussels with chorizo, spinach and potatoes. I opted for a crave-worthy shaved brussel sprout salad, served atop a parmesan risotto cake with truffle vinaigrette. The dish has it all: salt and umami, crunch and soft, hot and cold. And by the looks of the number of these being cranked out of the kitchen during a busy lunch service, I wasn’t the only one about to scrape my plate clean.
The second course offerings range from classic sandwiches such as a BLT and burger, a pulled pork and falafel wrap, to plates of risotto, ravioli, and a refined mushroom goat cheese omelette. It’s impossible not to please someone with these options which seem to cover a greatest hits of American, Italian, and French restaurant dishes. I tried the wood grilled salmon, a rustic and nicely proportioned course, the slightly smoky and well seasoned salmon was served with roasted carrots, fingerling potatoes and beets.
Harvest Wine Bar is one of downtown’s newest and best upscale lunch options. With a location on Chapel, right next door to the Yale Repertory Theater, and an enviable wine selection and ample bar, it also makes a potentially ideal pre or post theater dinner gathering spot.
Harvest New Haven is located at 1104 Chapel Street in New Haven, CT. For more information, visit: http://harvestwinebar.com