When going downtown for a nice hump-day treat, it’s easy to default to one of the many Main Street bars. But if you look just a little bit harder, you might find yourself on nearby but slightly less obvious Market Space, where a line of historic store fronts and awnings greets you with that classic Naptown allure. One of these buildings—a beautiful brick structure—is home to this month’s happy hour feature: Harvest Wood Grill & Tap.
The exposed brick of the inside walls, wooden accents, and warm lighting give the restaurant a lodge-like feel. In the back to the left sits an attractive granite bar, where I decided to try out the “Tap” part of the name. They had sixteen beers on tap, including three nitros. If you want to try the different options without committing to a full glass, you can get a 4 oz. pour for $2.00. I decided to create my own mini-flight sampler:
As a fun twist, Harvest offers not only draft beer, but also a draft prosecco and a draft cocktail. The cocktail, which they call the “Americano” ($5.00 a pour during happy hour), was a tasty, citrusy, bubbly vodka drink. Though quite a deviation from what I would normally order at a bar (being more of a bourbon person), it stood up so nicely that I considered ordering a second.
While I sipped on my refreshing drink – the idea of a draft cocktail still intriguing me – I spotted an appetizer from their happy hour menu that would get my attention in any context: popcorn. And not just any popcorn—duck fat popcorn, with a truffle-y, cheesy seasoning. But wait, there’s more! It’s half-off during happy hour. I didn’t even attempt to resist.
While chatting with the bartender, I discovered that Harvest serves oysters on the half-shell (“buck-a-shuck” during happy hour), all of which come from the Chesapeake watershed. That day they had Barren Islands and Skinny Dippers; I tried one of each. And, so as to make the most of my visit, I also tried their lightly crisped oysters with harisa aioli and candied lemon peel.
Up until this point, I had completely forgotten about the “Wood Grill” part of Harvest’s name. But then they brought out the wings, and I quickly realized that my dream house will certainly include a wood-fired grill, and why the wings are Harvest’s most popular appetizer.
When’s the last time you sat by a campfire, beer in hand, the setting sun sifting through the trees around you? No sound of highways, no bustle of humans; just you and the smoke that’s lazily slipping up into the sky. That feeling is what these wings tasted like. All recollections of the cold, rainy week in February were momentarily expunged and replaced with all the best parts of summer.
Happy hour at Harvest runs Wednesday through Friday, 4:00-7:00.
Photos courtesy of Leslie Howard-Goddard