Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chef Staib Dinner at Harvest

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying an evening at Harvest, a new restaurant on the grounds of the Hotel Hershey. The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau sponsored my experience at Harvest because the hotel was hosting a very special guest chef - Walter Staib, Proprietor of The City Tavern in Philadelphia. I was very excited to hear that Chef Staib was going to be at Harvest for many reasons. First, my good friend Tim is a chef at Harvest and this was the first time I had the opportunity to eat at the restaurant. Second, I have eaten at the City Tavern in Philadelphia two times and had wonderful experiences there. And third, I had sampled one of Chef Staib's appetizer creations at a food event in Philly just a few months ago.

The cozy dining atmosphere at Harvest

To start the evening, I attended a reception where I had a nice conversation with Chef Staib. He told me about his upcoming series on PBS, a series of his cooking experiences at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. A Taste of History will begin airing this fall. I was also able to try one of the Ales of Revolution - the beers served at the City Tavern. The Poor Richards Tavern Spruce Ale is based on Ben Franklin's original recipe containing hints of spruce and molasses.

On to dinner! The dishes we had to choose from are all found in Chef Staib's cookbooks. For the amuse, we had the smoked pheasant en croute. Next on to the Appetizer - I chose the corn and crab chowder and it was amazing! The rich and creamy base was very flavorful and the combo of corn and crab is a wonderful comfort soup for the fall. For my entree, I couldn't pass up the pan seared beef medallions with mashed potatoes and the General Washington Tavern Porter Sauce. Delicately tender beef and a sturdy sauce to go with it. For dessert, Martha Washington's Chocolate Mousse cake with vanilla sauce was a rich and chocolately way to end the meal.

Simulanteously, my dining partner, Jamie, enjoyed the salad of Romaine lettuce with cumbled Maytag blue cheese and a burgundy Dijion vinaigrette for her appetizer. For her main course, she selected the turkey pot pie with fall vegetables topped with puff pastry. And for her dessert, warm bread pudding served with rum flavored creme anglaise.

The kitchen team at Harvest did a phenomenal job of perfectly pulling together a night of Chef Staib's creations!

At Harvest, 80% of the ingredients used in the kitchen are gathered/raised within 100 miles from the restaurant. For example, on that evening's menu, there was a sauteed brook trout that was raised in Lancaster County. Almost all of the vegetables used at the restaurant are local, including the gatherings from a small herb garden on the grounds of the Hotel. The service, ambiance and meal was outstanding and I look forward to another visit to Harvest very soon!

The amuse - pheasant en croute

Turkey Potpie

Beef Medallions

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Bread Pudding

I would like to thank Chef Staib for the newest edition of his Tavern Cookbook. I am excited to try some dishes from your collection. A thank you to Jamie for being my dinner date and for your great photography skills. And most importantly, a thank you to the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau for sponsoring my evening.


  1. Sounds like fun and everything looks delicious! I love that the restaurant uses local produce - very cool! Do you have a recipe for that chocolate cake?! :)

  2. I do!! I have all the recipes!! We can whip that cake up anytime your little heart desires!

  3. ok, is now too soon!? :) I miss you... chocolate cake would be a great excuse to get together!!! oh and to update your header maybe!