Tati Restaurant used to be here and we remembered the amazing, relaxing spot upstairs lost among the thick branches. It was the place we visited on our first date years ago and wanted to re-live our sweet memory.
A smallish storefront was bold in primary colours with a wordmark easy to forget. It blended in well with other restaurants among Harbord. There was a naive drawn tree with a banner advertising the treetop patio - hardly getting enough attention. We were tempted by their small street-level patio with it’s bright flowered planters. The interior was a popular choice - trendy and bright but we wanted the fresh air and sunlight. We were glad that our determination was not challenged and we asked for their upstairs backyard patio, which was fortunately open.
There was plenty of natural themed, cheerful artwork inside. As we were climbed the stairs, on our side was a large mural starting from the layers of soil to the tree tops.
The second floor had plenty of seating options, half of it opened towards the patio with fresh air circulating - for those not to eager to be fully outside. Even though it was a delightful day, we still saw folks sitting inside. Why would not they enjoy the treetop hideout upstairs?
Wooden deck, white walls with green art, pillowed benches along the sides, large umbrellas and plenty of green leaves and sunlight over our heads. The chairs and tables added playfulness to the patio - chairs all matched in style but not in colour; tables had both square and circular options available. After we settled in among the thick branches on the patio, Dana (our friendly, energetic waitress) asked for our choice of water while handing us the tiny Harvest Habit menus. We caught the 3-5 pm. special for $4 drinks and $5 snacks. Our immediate order was two glasses of their house wine (13th Street Winery from Niagara) with guacamole. The light breeze and mixed shadow relaxed us and we dove deeper into the main menus. There were some unique starters to choose from: dukkhah, tempura house pickles, African peanut soup. Also, there were elixirs on the menu and plenty of smoothies with coconut or almond milk or yogurt. Definitely some unique options to choose from. We ultimately chose a Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Bacon Maple Sauce (as per Dana: it was hard to keep people off this dish in the summer). The second main was a Falafel on a Bed of Greens with Tahini and Tzaziki Dressing.
It took only a few minutes for the wine and guacamole to arrive. Guacamole was a bit chunky, not too spicy. Appeared to be freshly made, with a side of fluffy pita wedges. As for the wine, we found it too young to be taken seriously. For $1/ounce it was decent; worked well for a simple table wine.
As we sunk deeper into the ambience, we realized the importance of the tall patio walls, which slightly leaning out - adding to the space, yet focusing our attention up. We wandered how this patio looks from the neighbour’s perspective, perhaps not too glorious.
Our sandwich and bowl arrived shortly. The tender chicken was grilled and combined with avocado, lettuce, tomato, sweet pepper, mayo and red onion. The bacon maple jam thinly spread on one side, giving a unique twist to this dish. It came with a side of slightly pickled coleslaw adding intrigue to the dish. We also ordered a side of their cold daily soup - potato, onion. It was thick and creamy, with an artistic red dash of beat sauce and a floating chive flower. It was a delight to enjoy it, reflecting the refreshing atmosphere.
The bowl was a colourful mess - the three falafel balls rested along the sides, on the green house sprouts and shoots with spelt and tabouleh adding plenty of colours. The tahini and tzaziki dressings came in metal contains, nested inside the bowl. The dish went beyond what we expected - a very healthy and filing dish. We could tell that all the ingredients were fresh - from their affiliated farm in Coburg as we found out from Dana. One of the sides this unique place offers is seasonal veggies. We had their grilled asparagus and loved it.
You should enjoy on a sunny day with friends or a special someone with whom you can share a moment of comfortable silence in the nature as you tuck yourself on the upstairs patio amongst the trees. There only very few bugs, which did not bother us at all.
A lot of care went into making every dish at Harvest Kitchen and we felt deeply rooted in the local. Our experience came together from the small details that matter - an intense chive flower, an attentive waitress, carefully seasoned and grilled asparagus, hand-cut coleslaw - once put together, one can feel a true touch of a great food experience. Highly recommended.