Charlie Palmer's newest venture, Harvest Table, opens tonight in St. Helena's Harvest Inn. The Inn, which did not previously have a restaurant on the property, has been a boutique staple since 1975. Now, under Palmer's seasoned hand, it is a full-fledged resort with a full-service restaurant and bar and the addition of four, posh new guest rooms. The property joins a growing number of the chef-restaurateur's hotel and dining combos, including Dry Creek Kitchen at Hotel Healdsburg and the Burritt Room + Tavern at San Francisco's Mystic Hotel.
Palmer, along with the recently hired executive chef Levi Mezick (Restaurant 1833 in Monterey) is heading up the kitchen, focusing on "hyper-seasonal" and local ingredients. It won't be hard, considering the property's five culinary gardens that support the restaurant. Culinary gardener Laura McNiff has been working closely with Palmer and Mezick to design gardens that align with the menu, which focuses on classic California cuisine.
The menu is divided into snacks, starters and plates, as well as a daily, family-style dish meant to share. Items like potato gnocchi with ramp butter, croutons and charred favas, and roasted carrots with buttermilk, vadouvan and granola are standouts, as is the Harvest Table Burger with fontina cheese and bread and butter pickles. Executive pastry chef Andrew DiClementi, who made the jump from Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, has designed a dessert menu of classics like ice cream "sammies" with Bourbon vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and strawberry marmalade ice cream. Check out the opening dinner menu below; brunch, lunch and dessert are available here.
On the wine side, Napa Valley classics will headline alongside some smaller production "up-and-comers." For those wishing for a more exotic accompaniment, the list includes a "Blind Vine" section, offering wines from non-Napa and international growing regions that are listed by varietal, price and description (not producer), for a blind tasting experience.
Harvest Table is open for lunch Wednesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday from 11:00-2:30 p.m.