Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Restaurant Review: Harvest Moon Grille

When I tell people that I blog about local food, they usually spout off a list of local restaurants that source much of their menu from local farms and producers, most of which I've either never heard of and/or I want to try but haven't. Unfortunately, a lot of these restaurants are out of my weekly meal budget but are perfect for a special occasion.

This blogger’s birthday was last week and I was lucky enough to be taken to one of Charlotte’s premier locally-sourced restaurants, Harvest Moon Grille. Nestled in the historic Dunhill Hotel in Uptown, this restaurant may not be big but it has so much to offer.

Executive chef and owner Cassie Parsons not only cooks up unique recipes highlighting local ingredients but also operates Grateful Growers Farm in Lincoln County. Thus, many of the dishes showcase her farm's pork, including the soup of the day which was an amazing minestrone. Since I am a sucker for a good cheese plate, especially if it’s local, we also ordered their cheese sampler that included a house-made ricotta, some chipotle chevre and cured ham served in a way similar to prosciutto. These were excellent starters not only because they were local but because they are seasonal comfort foods perfect for the cold weather we've been having.

For our main courses, we ordered the pumpkin risotto and the special of the day, mahi-mahi. The risotto needed a tiny bit of salt but was otherwise excellent. The mahi-mahi was cooked to absolute perfection and served over a bed of rice. It looked monochrome but was incredibly tasty.

Like Halcyon, Harvest Moon is not your everyday dinner location in price nor quality. It is, however, an incredibly unique dining experience where you can tell the chefs have put a lot of effort into creative ways to complement local products and make amazing meals!

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