photo by todd gunderson
Harvest is a bustling restaurant with a big city feel set into the historic Camas Hotel. A delightful farm table was full during our entire visit, giving the dining room a vibrant and warm center and as the night progressed – we were there during the action-packed Camas Days – tables filled all around us and along the sidewalk out front. The small wait staff cheerfully patrolled the dining room – even pausing to sing a showstopping happy birthday – while Chef Tim McCusker popped out of the kitchen to check on guests and inquire about dishes.
We ordered five dishes, and two of them were unparalleled. The chicken and bacon stew, winner of a Camas chili cook-off, was superb. A smoky flavor permeated the whole dish, with just enough bite to warrant a cold Laurelwood Workhorse IPA. The white bean, chicken breast and cream combination gave the chili a pleasant color and meaty texture while the roasted jalapenos were balanced by the jack cheese and cilantro piled up on top.
While my companion was hogging the chili, I gobbled down a small plate of caramelized scallops, beautifully perched atop a baby spinach salad with roasted apples, blue cheese, spiced candied pecans, tossed in a warm bacon balsamic dressing. The scallops were perfectly seared off and the salty-sweet late summer salad complemented the shellfish and allowed the 4-ounce dish to leave a robust impression.
My companion ordered the special of the evening – a rack of ribs in a bacon balsamic sauce with a side of bacon-topped macaroni and cheese. The ribs were a bit chewy and dry, and came in an unappetizing “picnic basket” presentation – a metal tray lined with blue gingham paper. My second course came off the small plates menu. The New York steak spinach salad was a disappointment of ice cold tough flank steak, large slices of Roma tomato, and an unexpectedly spicy salad with blue cheese, peach dressing and pickled cucumbers. We also tried the apricot pork turnover, which was a large and beautiful but soaked-through stuffed pastry, with roasted pork loin, apricot jam, goat cheese atop a basil jicama citrus slaw. The slaw was lovely and refreshing.
Harvest is a fun, upscale-but-homey spot in historic downtown Camas, and it fits right in with the busy bistros and retail shops in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to try it out again.
401 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas