|photo from kevin dooley, flickr.com|
We did manage to break away for a nice dinner there a little bit ago, and I have nothing but praise. I'd been there before, but it was only drinks and nibbles, so there wasn't much to say. In my party, we had a variety of fabulous meals.
The Harlan Burger looked a little odd, floating on its English Muffin-y bread, but the proclamation was "great!" and "greasy in a good way." Sounded like although it might kill you, you'd die happy. We scratched our head over what Parisienne Gnocchi might be, and the diner in question described it as "open faced" gnocchi. He rated it a 10 of 10 with a perfect texture. My friend who sampled the Seared Scallops said she couldn't recall ever having had as good...and that they just might be perfect. (I'm no fan of scallops, so a perfect one might be tied in a Glad bag, as far as i'm concerned...but I'll take her word for it.) The Gulf Shrimp & Grits garnered similar praise and the Garganelli Pasta was described as "well balanced."
I had the Braised Lamb, and perhaps food love was in the air, but it was incredible. It fell off the bone and into a collection of delicious French lentils seasoned with onions, almonds and dates. That description doesn't do it justice, and only eating it would.
It's not inaccurate for me to say it: I hate brussel sprouts. I remember being so sad when a very special dinner of soft shell crabs came with the veggie of the day - which I forgot to ask about. The plate arrived decorated in all directions by those little green stink bombs. Boo! This is all to say that the brussel sprouts at Harlan Social were delicious. I was shocked (Lord knows I didn't order them, but I tried them out of a sense of curiosity and masochism). They were miniature, and I don't know what that is supposed to do to their flavor, but it made something horrible downright delectable.
I wish it had been a little busier on a weekend evening, but the environment at Harlan Social was cozy and modern. My husband's a much harsher critic than I am, and he adored the evening. We also enjoyed the cheese plate (although the very thick accent of the waitress kept me in the dark about what the heck I was eating) and two desserts: Warm Cinnamon Donuts and the Bittersweet Chocolate Bar. They were a bit skimpy on the serving size for the donuts, but I'm glad they recognize that everything is better with chocolate dipping sauce. The Chocolate Bar could use a little more descriptive text on the menu so I know what the heck I'm eating, but whatever it was, I'll come back for more.