Places to go; Food to eat

Harvest Restaurant – Rogersville, MO

Harvest Restaurant – Rogersville, MO

Let me start by saying this is one of my favorite restaurants in the Springfield area. It’s a quaint little restaurant tucked away in the small town of Rogersville, about a 15 minute drive from Springfield. I’ll set the scene- as you pull up, you notice the large orchard surrounding the small building, bringing you an immediate feeling of comfort. You walk to the door, not knowing the exact menu, since it changes often, anticipating what you are about to taste. You open the door and are asked the name on the reservation. You tell them, they seat you at your table. As you look around the restaurant, you take in a rustic, yet elegant ambiance, making it the perfect choice for a date night. Now it’s time for the hardest part – studying the menu and deciding what you want to eat for the evening. They provide you options of one, two, three, and four. One being shareable items/appetizers, two being salads and soups, three being the larger entrees, and four being some delicious desserts. The serving sizes are on the smaller side, so order a decent amount if you’re sharing. Let me assure you, you will not make the wrong decision on what to order – it’s all great. Now that I’ve set the mood, I’ll get into what we tried and give you some descriptions.

Amuse-Bouche

Country Crostini with Lemon Chive Butter

Lemon-chive butter on country crostini

They first brought out an amuse-bouche, compliments of the chef. For those of you who don’t know, amuse-bouche is a French term for a single bite, on the house snack. It can best be described as an “appetizer before the appetizer.” The crostini itself was very crisp, which held up to the butter well. The lemon-chive butter added a brightness to the dish, giving it a slightly acidic, onion-y flavor. The fresh radish on top added “coolness” to it, as it was cold and crunchy.

Bread

Focaccia

Harvest Herb Focaccia ($6)

Before the appetizers, we decided to get some bread. The herb focaccia here is fantastic. The bread was the perfect density- not extremely fluffy, but not overly dense, either. The herbs on top added a nice savory note to it. They served the focaccia with high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The olive oil was fruity, spicy, and wonderful, while the balsamic was sweet and vinegary, adding a great balance.

One

Maine Peekytoe Crab Cake

Maine Peekytoe Crab Cake with Garlic Aioli, Parsley Jus, Fennel Salad ($16)

We started with the peekytoe crab cake. The two “types” of crab cakes are “cakey” and “crabby.” This one was the crabby kind, but not crabby meaning it was grumpy and didn’t want to be there. This crab cake was crabby in the “eat me, I’m full of delicious crab meat” way. There was hardly any binder in sight, but the crab still held together. The cake had a crisp crust on the outside, giving a contrast in textures. The garlic aioli added a creamy, savory element to the dish. It reminded me of eating crab legs with hot butter on the beach, but better. The fresh fennel salad added a slight anise-y note to it. The parsley jus (thin sauce) gave the dish a fresh, herbal side.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Handcrafted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage-Pecan Brown Butter, Saba ($12)

This butternut squash ravioli was phenomenal. The butternut squash filling wasn’t overly sweet and the brown butter added a nuttiness that paired well with the sage leaves. The parmesan gave a sharpness to the dish, while the saba had a slightly tangy flavor, which contrasted with the rich, creamy squash pasta. Hands down our favorite of the night.

Crispy Duck Confit

Crispy Duck Confit with French Lentil Ragout, Balsamic Reduction ($14)

I am a huge duck fan, so I couldn’t pass this up when I saw it on the menu. The skin had a wonderfully crispness to it. The meat was perfectly cooked – moist, and delicious. The lentils were cooked just right, a slight bite to them, but no where near undercooked. The balsamic reduction provided a sweet, vinegary addition to the dish, which cut through the richness of the duck.

I skipped the two (salad/soup) course. There were so many good looking appetizers that I just ordered more of those instead.

Three

Wagyu Beef

Pan Roasted Wagyu Beef with Smoked Bacon-Cheddar Potato Gratin, Brussels Sprouts, Red Wine Syrup ($36)

Anytime I see Wagyu on the menu, it’s a must-order. This steak was cooked to perfection. It had a wonderful beefy flavor from the well-marbled cut of meat. The red wine syrup gave a sweet, tangy bite to the dish, contrasting the rich meat. The potatoes were slightly smoky from the bacon, with a sharpness from the cheddar. The layers of potatoes were extremely thin, making for a great texture. There was a hint of onion in them, which gave another dimension. The Brussels sprouts were caramelized with a nutty warmth. This was a great preparation of Wagyu.

Four

Maple Pot de Creme

Maple Pot de Creme with Florentine Cookie, J. Rieger Bourbon Cream ($10)

Okay…so when it comes to desserts, I’m usually a chocolate-only kind of person; but I decided “well, why not..maple pot de creme with a crispy cookie on top can’t be bad, right?” Right. The maple pot de creme had a great texture: creamy, thick, but not too thick..almost a cross between a pudding and a mousse. The maple added a caramelized flavor. The bourbon cream on top gave a fresh, smoky hint to the dish. The crisp, slightly chewy cookie on top provided a contrast in texture.

Mignardises

Lemon Pop

Lemon Pops Topped with Meringue

Once again, I’m a chocolate person, but they brought these little things out. Side note: mignardises are small, one bite sweets/pastries brought out after the meal, kind of like a “dessert after the dessert.” I’m not a lover of lemon desserts, but these lemon pops changed my mind. The pop itself was very cold when you put it in your mouth, which was refreshing. It had a great texture to it: soft, yet chewy. The acidity from the lemon left your mouth slightly tingly and puckered. The sweet, toasted meringue countered the tart lemon. The best bite of any lemon dessert I’ve had.

Summary

So, for those of you who just looked at the pictures and didn’t read the descriptions, I’ll sum it up for you. The atmosphere is great, I love the quaint rustic feel. It is the perfect venue for a date night. Though the service was only adequate, with the wait staff lacking cordiality, the food made up for the subpar service. Amuse-bouche: appetizer before the appetizer. The crab cake was crabby and delicious; duck confit was crispy, tender, and juicy; butternut squash ravioli was out-of-this-world good; the focaccia was herb-y and delicious. The Wagyu was beefy, well-marbled, and full of flavor. The maple pot de creme was creamy, not too heavy, and slightly smoky, and the lemon pop was the best lemon dessert I’ve tried.



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