It has what every chef, and the owner of a chef-driven restaurant, wants: plenty of kitchen space.
Harvest, which recently opened in Clintonville, has a 1,300-square-foot kitchen – half of the entire storefront.
“It’s nice to have room to grow,” said Chris Crader, the owner of Harvest, which takes over the former Mozart’s location at 2885 N. High St. Crader also owns a trio of other stores – Harvest Pizzeria, Curio and Sycamore, all located in German Village.
Chef Matt Owens is taking full advantage of the extra elbow room by expanding the menu beyond the offerings at the original Harvest Pizza, while keeping many of the popular items. Not surprisingly, that includes the artisan pizzas, made with fresh-tossed, cold-fermented dough that is cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Owens said each Harvest location serves about 1,000 pizzas a week, not including frozen pies now available at the Hills Market, and Lucky’s, Huffmans and Weiland’s markets.
But he’s also added a number of dishes exclusive to the Clintonville store, including five handcrafted burgers. The signature choice is the “Harvest” burger, made with grass-fed Ohio beef, and topped with gruyere cheese made in Defiance and arugula grown in Grove City.
Another option is a burger made with ground duck and garnished with orange marmalade and a slaw of cucumbers, jalapenos and cabbage.
Also available are sandwiches, salads and several small plates, such as Portobello fries with banana ketchup, fried pickle chips with house aioli and ricotta gnocchi with trumpet mushrooms, butter, sage and pesto.
Most items are in the $7 to $15 range.
“We try to keep the same ideas, stay as local as possible, keep the same level of quality,” said Owens, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and Ohio State University.
The extra space has allowed Crader to expand his beverage program. The new place has 10 taps, 14 beers by the can, 24 by the bottle, a hand-selected wine list and, of course, classic and designer cocktails.
The reception it’s received has been rewarding so far, Owens said.
“It was obviously a relief to know we were doing something right,” he said. “When you open up a restaurant, you never know how it’s going to go. I think we’ve got a good product and the public agrees.”
Harvest is open for lunch and dinner six days a week, closed Sunday. For more information, call 614-947-7133.
In other news from Clintonville, Growl! has opened at 2995 N. High St.
The latest growler venue offers 41 beers on tap, drawing from a wide assortment of craft brewers across the nation.
“It’s less than what some places are doing, but it’s enough to give us a really good variety,” said Jonathan Kindsvatter, who owns the shop with Philip Hamilton.
For now the place offers tastes, up to four maximum, for 50 cents each and two growler sizes: 64 and 32 ounces.
Pints and flights will be available around mid-April, Kindsvatter said.
Growl! also carries a few beers and wines by the bottle, with plans to grow the inventory in coming months, Kindsvatter said.
There is no food service but when the place obtains its on-premises liquor license, people will be able to bring in their own meals, he said.
Growl! takes over the 1,300-square-foot space formerly occupied by Hungry Howie’s Pizza. The interior is minimalist, with a few scattered wooden tables, and a mix of wooden and brick walls, with shelves holding the empty customized growler bottles.
“Storewise, we wanted it to look a little less like a carryout and more like a warm coffee shop. Beerwise, we just wanted to keep it interesting,” Kindsvatter said.