I spent the weekend in Chicago with Mom, Jenn, and baby Max. In fumbling around to find a dinner reservation meeting our criteria (not too expensive, not too loud but still baby friendly, not too crowded, easily accessible from our Streetersville hotel, reservations available despite the holiday weekend), I found Harvest. Harvest met all of our requirements, and the press coverage mentioned that 95% of their ingredients from regional producers, including their own beehives on the roof of the Mariott. The total lack of Yelping about Harvest made me anxious, but as Jenny pointed out, it’s in a no-man’s-land of hotels, meaning that few actual Chicagoans will ever go there.
What sealed the deal, though, was the mention of pie flights. I like pie. I like flights. I like $2 desserts. We had a winning equation on our hands.
Upon arrival, it was fairly obvious why Harvest had plenty of reservations available on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day: it’s a hotel restaurant. A hotel restaurant with a good menu and admirable sourcing values, but a hotel restaurant nonetheless. Our food was enjoyable but not remarkable: Jenn and I shared a steak, and one half came out medium-rare (what we ordered), while the other half was past medium. The fancied-up tater tots were good, but the herby dipping sauce was better. I had a great martini, but Jenn’s wine was corked (and quickly replaced). No one complained when Max squealed or dropped tater tots on the ground.
The pie flight, however, was beyond reproach. Each slice – about half the size of a normal restaurant portion – was $2, so the three of us shared a slice of butterscotch and of pear cranberry. We were pleased with our desserts, and Max loved the whipped cream. I’m not sure this is enough to justify a return trip, but we did enjoy our evening, and it’s nice to know of other nice-but-not-chain places for downtown dining when we’re next in Chicago.