Harvest: User's Guide
Modern New England Cuisine | Date-Night Romance | Nationally Praised
Where to sit: The secluded garden patio is so idyllic it “provokes daydreams,” according to Boston magazine.
While You’re Waiting: Count the number of famous chefs Harvest has nurtured over the last four decades: Lydia Shire, Chris Schlesinger, Barbara Lynch, and Frank McClelland, to name a few.
Inside Tips: Be sure to save room for what the Improper Bostonian deemed the city's best desserts. They're dreamt up by Brian Mercury, one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Pastry Chefs of 2013.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Lose yourself in Harvard Book Store’s (1256 Massachusetts Avenue) smartly curated selection—you might even witness a reading from a literary celeb.
After: Tuck in for a concert at Club Passim (47 Palmer Street); on any given night, the nonprofit venue is a grab bag of Americana, singer-songwriters, and world music.
If You Can’t Make It, Try: Grill 23 & Bar (161 Berkeley Street) or Post 390 (406 Stuart Street), both high-end Boston eateries managed by Harvest’s operator: Himmel Hospitality Group.
When Harvard and M.I.T. students need a study break, the glowing neon signs of Charlie’s Kitchen guide them to salvation. Usually, that salvation lies in the double cheeseburger—a Charlie’s staple—served with a choice of classic, beer-battered, waffle, or sweet potato fries, or fried green beans. The towering stack of meat is but one favorite from the '50s-style diner's menu. Burgers come in 11 other forms, including the ever-popular double lobster roll, while an entire section devoted to meat-free dishes sates vegetarians. Diners can even pick a live lobster from the tank for an opulent seafood feast. Whether hungry or not, guests can always grab a beer and head upstairs to the lounge, where a jukebox, weekly live music, karaoke, and trivia keeps crowds entertained. They can also savor 18 draft brews in the beer garden, which, like an exhibitionist oyster, stays open year-round.
Charlie’s Kitchen not only invites guests to enjoy nature all year, but also does its part to protect it. Three of its cars run on veggie oil, its dishwasher is solar powered, and it recycles or composts much of its trash.
Though lunch cars were everywhere when Deluxe Town Diner was built in 1947, these precursors to the diners of today have all but vanished. But the 65-year old building—which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999—has continued to thrive well into the 21st century. Today, the Levy family runs the place, adding fair-trade coffee and cage-free eggs into the mix of make-your-own omelets, steak and eggs, and signature pancakes that they serve all day long. Garnishes of Merton’s maple syrup or mixed berry compote with whipped cream crown the selection of blue-cornmeal, sweet-potato, and fruit-infused flapjacks, a blueberry version of which Boston magazine called "rich and velvety, like blueberries bathed in sweet cream." At 4 p.m., the cooks begin slinging classic diner fare ranging from southern-fried chicken platters and tuna salad sandwiches. The desserts fit the diner theme as well, as fountain soda floats pair with flaky slices of apple or cherry-crumb pie. Should customers feel the urge to recreate the house pancakes at home or make snowmen that actually last for once, Deluxe Town Diner offers their signature pancake mix and Merton’s syrup for sale.
According to folk etymologists, the term barbecue is derived from the French barbe coup, referring to the annual pig picking commemorating the infamous Barbers’ Rebellion. Today's Groupon gets you in on the hallowed and delicious tradition: $15 for $30 worth of authentic down-home eats at Redbones. Redbones is a juicy barbecue joint in Somerville that serves wings, ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and other southern specialties.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The chefs at Mike's Food & Spirits whip together a bevy of classic seafood dishes, pasta plates, and other Italian favorites. Pizzas hoist mounds of bacon, ricotta, and sausage atop floury crusts, and made-to-order calzones enfold shaved steak, breaded chicken, or bites of eggplant for easy transport to mouths or convenient self-storage inside purses. Patrons also sate hungers with Old World recipes such as the sausage cacciatore, where italian sausage mingles with peppers and mushrooms in a homemade marinara sauce, and a seafood platter that sets taste buds sailing with deep-fried haddock, shrimp, and scallops. Taps pour plentiful American microbrews and imports to accompany meals, assuage tongues exhausted from exploring flavorful sauces, and severely reduce one’s chances of spontaneous combustion.