I’m not sure how folks mark the change from summer to autumn outside of Columbus, Ohio. The season is thrust upon us (whether or not the weather wants to cooperate) with the emergence of football season. Love it or hate it, high school and college football games become the center of my culture. And with the games come a new type of seasonal eating: pizza. This week, Maya and I are celebrating this any-season-but-best-in-autumn dish on Itinerant Foodies. Expect a little controversy (she’s very particular on what constitutes a “correct” pizza) and some zesty prose on this all-American favorite.
As a foodie in Columbus, I’m spoiled; rarely do I have to wait for a seat in my favorite restaurants. I did not fully realize this until I visited Harvest Pizzeria in German Village. While it’s typical for eateries in this part of the city to be filled to the brim, I was faced with such a wide demographic of eaters that one of two things must be true: either Columbus is starting to appreciate local fare or German Village is extremely hungry (pardon the pun) for a solid pizzeria.
The concept behind Harvest Pizzeria is simple: wood fired specialty pizzas are made with local ingredients and served alongside classic cocktails and salads in a hip and bustling atmosphere. In short, this is not a Friday Night Pizza Joint filled with preteens — or pre-made sauces. It’s quite the opposite. The drinks and dishes are designed for adults. And that heavenly tomato sauce? It’s made by hand from home grown tomatoes.
We decided to dive into the menu head first, starting with the highly recommended “foie.” (Note: I’m not sure when folks started referring to foie gras by its first name, like they and The Foie were old rowing buddies back in high school, but I suppose we’re in a new era.) Served aside local bread, a cherry and a dripper of grape must, The Foie was smooth, like butter, but way more expensive ($14).
Next up, a real (read: dressing made with anchovies) Caesar salad, topped with flaky sardines ($10) and a house-made parmesan crisp. We found the course to be delightful, and the tangy citrus dressing made the dish a success.
Although most of the pizzas on the menu were tempting, we settled on only (!) two to share as our main course(s). First up, the fennel sausage ($15). This was the favorite of the two, with local gouda, provolone, fennel pollen and onions. The crust (prepared by a local bakery) was moist and the tomato sauce perfectly complemented the flavors.
We couldn’t resist ordering the Ohio bacon, with mozzarella, roasted red peppers and marjoram ($14). The fine line between delicately charred and completely burnt had been crossed on portions of this pizza, but I credit this indiscretion to the restaurant being newly opened.
All in all, the meal was lovely, but pricey. (To be fair, we did order everything on the menu; next time, we’ll likely just get drinks and a pie to split.) I expect Harvest Pizzeria to be a once-in-a-while pizza joint for me, with priority if I happen to be in the village. My hopes for the place? Seasonal menu changes and a shorter line. Though I suspect that only the former wish will come true. I have a sneaking suspicion that my town is learning how to dine. Which means I need to learn how to make reservations.
495 S. 4th Street