Picture a clean, simple table decorated with flowers and sleek blue plates. Now, picture those plates piled high with delicious hot local food. Welcome to DC Harvest, honey.
GU Eating Society was fortunate enough to partner with DC Harvest for an unforgettable meal. Our members went to the local restaurant to enjoy freshly prepared American cuisine that symbolized a true, farm-to-table concept. What is farm-to-table exactly? The two owners of DC Harvest, Jared and Arthur Ringel, gladly walked us through what it means to be a "farm-to-table" establishment – and it's much more simple than one things. Essentially, the restaurant surveys local producers and farmers and directly sources its ingredients from them, which they then use in all of their dishes. Because their ingredients revolve around what the farmers grow and produce, DC Harvest's menu changes often according to what's in season. There's no middle men. There's no loss in freshness or quality. It just goes from farmer, to restaurant, and then on your table. That's it.
By sourcing its ingredients from local producers and farmers, DC Harvest sets its quality and standards far above any other eating establishment. Not only is the restaurant supporting local businesses and farmers, which facilitates the health of our community and local economy, but by skipping middle men, it is ensuring the heath of its customers. Without loss of time in transportation, the ingredients hold the utmost quality and nutrition. That's why, by eating at DC Harvest, we know that every dish is the best quality possible.
This rustic vibe of the restaurant echoed the locally sourced menu that GUES was lucky enough to sample. We started with some seasonal house veggies, which were deliciously simple, before progressing quickly to a more sophisticated palate. Chef Arthur Ringel and his team brought out plate after plate of incredibly tasty concoctions, eventually filling the table with the following: smoked chicken breast with spicy syrup, pan-seared blue catfish with pecan sauce, crispy paprika potatoes with aioli, and a market greens salad tossed in lemon vinaigrette.
The salad put us off to a delicate, tangy start. The potatoes were the perfect crunchy accompaniment to the fish and chicken, which were both melt-in-your-mouth tender. Seriously, I’ve never had chicken like this. It was like butter in your mouth, but still covered in this perfectly crispy skin. Chef Ringel later explained that the chicken is brined for 24 hours before being smoked for an hour and a half—clearly, this is some kind of golden ratio. After sampling all of these dishes (sometimes more than once), I was stuffed, but some other members went in for the dessert. The s’mores custard was a favorite, and seemed more than worth the indulgence.
What really put this experience over the top for me, though, was the fact that DC Harvest focuses on using local and organic ingredients. At home, farm-to-table restaurants like this were my bread and butter. In college, though, I’ve had to make some sacrifices about where I source my food, based on what’s available to me on a daily basis. Finding a restaurant that supports food I feel good about is really important to me—which is why I’m so excited that GUES was able to partner with DC Harvest. I cannot wait to go back to try out their entire menu. But honestly, I’d just go back for that chicken.
Thank you, DC Harvest for an incredible meal and for graciously hosting GUES with the utmost service, quality, and delicious food.
Taste The Culture
Welcome to Fork Tales – The GU Eating Society's blog. Read all about our members' cultural food experiences, right here.