When my husband and I got a hankering for some tapas on a Saturday night, we decided to find something other than our go to spot, Tango on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
I set to googling and came up with The Harvest Vine, which has excellent reviews and has been around for 20 years. Unfortunately, they had no available reservations for that evening, but I was determined to get one. Their reservations are powered by Resy, which has a "notify me" feature that contacts you if a space opens up for your desired date. At about 4pm, I set the notify for the same day, and an hour later I received an email indicating that a 9pm reservation was free. So, I took it.
The restaurant has been expanded from a tiny spot to a multi-level beauty with 74 seats. The decor is warm, cozy, and inviting. The waitress recommended that we order two to three tapas per person. And, she brought out a pintxo of marinated mushrooms with a splash of salsa verde while we debated which things to order on the extensive menu. I knew that we were in for a treat when I tasted those mushrooms, which made the choice that much more difficult. But, we finally settled on five tapas, an order of bread, and a crisp bottle of Spanish white.
The standout dish was the grilled venison with oyster mushrooms and licorice root sauce. There is nothing about this description that speaks to me. As, I am not a fan of venison or licorice. However, my husband was pining for it, so we ordered it. I was fully prepared to hate the dish, but when he took his first bite, he was convinced that I was going to love it. In fact, he insisted that I halt whatever I was doing, clear my palate, and take a bite. I did ...hesitantly, and boy was I surprised. It was fantastically grilled, tender, not gamey and not licoricey. I told the waitress how much I loved it and she said that the description sometimes scares people, but they generally love it if they try it. And, I'm so glad that we did.
The only dish that I didn't care for was the caramelized chickpeas with tomato-cumin sauce. It didn't have the complexity and depth as did our other tapas. And, it tasted like, well, tomato and cumin, like literally. Its flavor profile leaned more towards the Indian spectrum and it seemed to clash with our other tapas.
We didn't leave room for dessert, but if the other dishes are any indication, I'm sure that it's amazing. I love this place and am going back with friends in a couple of weeks. And, I haven't stopped singing its praises to anyone who will listen. Since it's been around for 20 years, I'm sure that it's not going anywhere and I can return again and again.