We started out with a fried chicken liver appetizer ($10). I think I mentioned recently how much I like chicken livers, and deep frying them certainly doesn’t hurt. This was the best course we had of the savory dishes by far, but it had a couple of issues too. There was a lot of the crunchy batter on them—almost too much on a lot of them. I felt like I was eating batter mostly and occasionally got a little bit of the liver. There were a couple of meaty bites and when you got one of those, they were really good—but unfortunately they were sort of few and far between. I loved the potato chips they were served on top of—great potato flavor and crisp crunch. And the drizzle of thin ranch-type dressing added a needed moisture element and a nice slightly sour contrast in flavor. It was a huge portion of fried food, and even between the two of us, we didn’t finish it.
For my main dish, I had the chicken thighs ($22.00) which were done in a slightly sweet Creole type barbeque kind of sauce. They were served over cheesy grits. I really enjoyed the grits, but the chicken was just too heavy and rich for me—and honestly I think one of the thighs was a little undercooked. This dish was a good example of why I have a hard time with Late Harvest—so many of the dishes (pretty much all of them in the winter) and just really rich and heavy and not really balanced. We also had a side of the garlic fries ($8) which I liked quite a bit—they are very large cut fries and really well done. Crispy on the outside with lots of garlic. But again, a gigantic portion—I think it could have fed at least 4 people as a side.
Hubby’s dish was the most disappointing I think. He had swordfish with what was described as salsa verde and a fried egg ($29). It made me realize there is officially something that I don’t like an egg on top of. It just wasn’t right. And we were intrigued by the “salsa verde,” but what we got was pretty much a puree of parsley. Honestly, it tasted like grass. Hubby instantly scraped it all off. It needed acid, big time, as well as some other ingredients because all you could taste was parsley. It was like pesto made of parsley (and an egg according to the server) and, well, nothing else. There was just nothing about either entrée that made it stand out. They seemed heavy, and flat.
We knew we could somewhat redeem the meal by ordering dessert—one of the best things going at Late Harvest is the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($8). I have talked about it before I think, but it is one of the most well done, true to authentic English sticky toffee pudding that I have ever had in the U.S. It is a really moist square of cake that is covered in a warm toffee sauce and served with whipped cream. They do it well, and this was no exception. Sadly, I am to the point where I am thinking that maybe Late Harvest may be a good option for dessert and an after dinner drink (nice dessert wine selection), but I think I will have a hard time getting hubby through the door again for dinner. The food was pretty off, and the server was a little know-it-all-ish with us, assuming we knew nothing about anything on the menu (this is a big pet peeve of mine). There was one conversation that went like this:
Hubby (to me): “Oh look, they have cassoulet on the menu.”
Me: “You should order it.” (He really likes it).
Server: “Are you familiar with cassoulet?”
Really? Would we be having this conversation if we had no clue what it was? Anyway, much of the service went this way, and I found it kind of annoying. If I don’t know what something is, I will ask. Or if you want to say, “Do you have any questions about the menu?” that is fine too. Don’t just assume people are clueless. Ok, that’s my rant. Overall, I am sad that we don’t like this place more because like I said, it is a really nice interior and a great location for me. But I just am not seeing it.
Late Harvest Kitchen
8605 River Crossing