The 100-seat artsy-chic Harvest Moon offers a loungey vibe, complete with custom-made banquettes, bold murals by popular artist David Bozic, and live music on weekends, all under the glow of Edison lamps and candles. The seasonal, farm-to-table menu, curated by talented Executive Chef Emmalee Santioni, offers a small but diverse series of options including some impressive vegetarian offerings – something other restaurants often lack. Wherever possible, ingredients are all made in-house including pickles and condiments such as mustard.
On a recent visit, my guest and I were invited to sample both the dinner menu. We were able to share the following:
- Fried Pickles with BBQ Aioli – I am a huge fan of friend pickles, but these surprised even me. They were sweet pickles! Not only that, but they are made fresh, in-house.
- Deviled Eggs with black & white truffle, black pepper, parmesan – I am of the opinion that truffles make everything better. These excellent deviled eggs are a testament to that truth. The addition of a fried parmesan crisp and a bed of arugula elevates these simple items to something quite special.
- Seared Scottish Salmon with polenta fritter, mustard cream – Wow! The salmon was crispy on the outside yet still succulent and perfectly-cooked on the inside. The mustard is made fresh, in-house and the creamy sauce was just piquant enough to give the dish a little zing. The polenta was also something special – a large block of fried polenta with a creamy interior and a crispy shell.
- Braised Short Rib with Yukon Gold parsnip mash – The parsnips definitely take this dish up a notch. The meat was fork-tender and densely flavorful.
Although we did not sample the Stuffed Acorn Squash, we did take a photo because it was so gorgeously plated. It is served with tender mixed grains, pecans, apples, spinach, candied ginger, and brown butter. On my next visit, this is a must-try.
Executive Chef Emmalee Santioni has a particular flair for dessert. On our visit we sampled:
- Apple Pie with braised apples, puff pastry, crystallized sugar – Think of this as a deconstructed apple pie. The apples were braised to the point of being just slightly “al dente.” Rather than a traditional crust, this was topped with delicate, fluffy layers of puff pastry sprinkled with crystallized sugar.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, a flourless dark chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and chocolate glaze – Think about it. A flourless dark chocolate cake, peanut butter mousse, dark chocolate sauce and crunch sprinkles. Does it get any better than that?
Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harvest Moon's new Winter Brunch Menu highlights comfort classics presented with a unique spin. Must-trys include Peanut Butter French Toast, Chickpea Hash -- with choice of eggs, toasted flatbread, and Fried Chicken with Cheesy Polenta Waffle -- served with bourbon maple syrup.
Harvest Moon offers live music on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 9 p.m. featuring local acoustic artists. Sit back and enjoy the music in a cool, hip environment while sipping amazing craft cocktails and sampling some of the best food in Wicker Park. Really, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Harvest Moon is located at 1805 West Division Street, Chicago. You can get more information on their website or by calling 773-661-9797. Dinner is served Tuesday – Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Brunch hours are Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.