Maddie & Kiki Review: Harvest

Maddie & Kiki headed to Brooklin to check out a restaurant notorious for polarized reviews, but found North Durham’s newest hidden gem instead.  Don’t miss what the foodie sisters thought of Harvest:  

One Saturday evening, we set out to dine at a Brooklin restaurant that we had heard mixed reviews about.

After parking the car, we walked up to the restaurant and noticed that the sign in front said “Harvest” instead of “Brooklin Pour House.” We stood in front of the sign, huddling in the cold and approaching a hangry state of mind. After giving the Brooklin Pour house a respectful moment of silence, we made the decision to check out Brooklin’s newest foodie spot.

maddie 1Taste: When we see a charcuterie board on a list of appetizers, we get as giddy as we do when Payless Shoe Source releases their Spring BOGO sale. It’s excitement beyond compare! One of the reasons why we love charcuterie so much is because it tends to feature everything that the mouth desires – saltiness, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Flavour overload in the best possible way! So as soon as we saw that our beloved charcuterie board was an option, we immediately knew that we had to order it. We noticed that the menu did not include a description of what was to be featured on the board, but we just figured that the items probably changed frequently and that our server would explain each item to us when he delivered the goods. Once the server placed the feast in front of us, we scanned the array of dreamy goodies and eagerly waited for him to explain what each item was. Then……..he WALKED AWAY!

He walked away. Like, he was standing there one minute, and then used his legs to remove himself from our table area the next minute.

Not explaining the items on a charcuterie board is a charcuterie faux pas! We sat there and blindly began sampling each item, which was a strange experience because there were five types of meats that, to this day, we still don’t know what they were.

Despite not knowing what they were, or if they were cured/made in-house, we loved all of them except for one that was a complete white ribbon of fat. We are all about delicious fatty mouth-feel, but this particular meat did not create a pleasant chewing experience. If the napkins were not pretty and linen, we would’ve definitely done the ol’ spit and toss.

maddie 2Although the meal was off to a bit of a rough start, we still had high hopes for dinner. We ordered the Lake Huron pickerel and crispy duck (yes, that was all included in one main!) as well as the 60-day dry aged Ribeye steak.  The pickerel and crispy duck were paired with lentils, wild mushrooms, and cauliflower cream. Oh, that duck. Oh that sweet, succulent, crispy, decadent heavenly, luscious duck. You know that famous diner scene in When Harry Met Sally? The taste of that duck provokes that kind of “lively” reaction. Thank goodness we were seated, because our knees would’ve buckled and we would’ve tumbled right to the floor if we had been standing. Very well done, Harvest! We will be day dreaming about that crispy skin for weeks to come!

maddie 3The cauliflower cream was so rich and creamy that it could be used to slather all over your face as a high quality natural night cream. Although you’d definitely end up licking it off before falling asleep as a midnight snack. Everything else on the plate was also mind-blowing – we wanted to lick the plate but, we’re ladies.

The steak was tender and flavorful, a delicious result of a glorious 60-day dry age. Our only tiny complaint is that it arrived at our table, pre-cut into slices. The juices had run out onto the plate, but it was cooked to our requested medium rare perfection. It was served with a béarnaise sauce that was velvety and tart, an essential addition to every amazing steak experience.

maddie 4Portion Size: The portion sizes were hearty. Although, instead of serving the béarnaise sauce in a standard sauce-sized ramekin, we would suggest they serve it in an ice cream-sized bowl. In fact, maybe it should be sold separately with a spoon!

Price: The prices are extremely reasonable. The menu items are well thought out, skillfully prepared, and well worth every penny!

Overall Vibe: The restaurant is exploding with character. It has a charming historic vibe but is decorated with modern elements.

Customer Service: Other than our server walking away without explaining what was on the charcuterie board, the customer service was friendly. The chef and owner frequently came out of the kitchen to socialize with the guests who he knew, and said hello to people who were trying the restaurant for the first time. Keep up the delicious work, Harvest, we will be back soon!

Verdict:  8.5/10

Harvest is located at 1 Way Street, Brooklin.

11427923_864045713670956_3445622935967094228_oMaddie and Kiki Longo, best friends since 1988, have been food enthusiasts from the time they were tall enough to reach the kitchen countertop to begin mixing and experimenting with delectable ingredients of all kinds.

The two sisters grew up in an Italian household, appreciating all kinds of cuisine and learning that the most important things in life are family and good food. Although the sisters no longer live under the same roof and are separated by a thirty minute car ride, they still spend 90% of their time together. They both work for the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, they write and produce their hit television show Maddie & Kiki: The Foraging Sisters, they are proud to be ambassadors of Durham Region and are involved in a number of community events. When the sisters aren’t foraging or cooking, you can catch Maddie ‘loving on’ her cat, Little Ricky, and Kiki working on her farm in Kendal.  Check out their website Maddie & Kiki Restaurant Reviews for more.

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