It’s a real disappointment when a restaurant has everything going for it but your server has a chip on his shoulder the size of Montana.
Our evening at Late Harvest Kitchen started off fine as we ordered cocktails and were warmly greeted by our server.
It was when he delved into the explanation of the menu that things took a turn for the worse. While I appreciate a knowledgeable server and recommendations of a few favorite dishes, a detailed description of EVERYTHING on the menu is probably overkill. It is printed on the menu sitting in front of us, after all.
When we tried to order an appetizer upon completion of the small plates explanation of the menu, the server went from pleasant fellow foodie to militant school marm in about 2.5 seconds. I was surprised he didn’t slap a hand with a ruler with the way he gave us a tongue lashing about how he hadn’t finished explaining the menu and we would have to wait to order a starter.
Our appetizers arrived and they were exquisite. Fried green tomatoes were cut thick and were bursting with juicy flavor and just enough crunch.
Brandade fish soufflé was a unique preparation of cod in a purée with cream creating a fluffy fish cake.
General Tso’s pork belly was a succulent braised pork dish that was just enough for everyone to get a taste and not leave us too full. Although my dining companions enjoyed it so much they wished that had been their main entree.
After we started enjoying our appetizers, Mr. Scrooge came back to take our order. Since we were busy sampling our first course, we had not finalized our entree selections. We told him we needed a few more minutes. At this point he said he wanted to warn us that some of the dishes take a half hour to prepare so we should hurry it up. At this point it was about 9pm, so not exactly closing time. He was clearly ready to call it a night.
Things deteriorated from there with one of my dining companions goading him by asking exactly which dishes take a half hour so we wouldn’t order those (the whole fish).
We finally placed our orders and our entrees arrived a short 13 minutes later. Phew, crisis averted.
The menu is the best of the best of fresh, local ingredients prepared in unique ways blending unexpected combinations.
The mahi mahi was fantastic. Served simply with a balsamic demi glaze and a side of Parmesan grits.
The walleye is especially unique served with littleneck claims, mustard spaetzle and brussel sprouts. Even my husband who claims to hate brussel sprouts was pleased with this preparation.
Our waiter’s thinly veiled annoyance with our table continued throughout the evening manifesting itself in our inability to order a cocktail as he disappeared for what seemed like long periods of time. He knew this was our Achille’s heel.
In the end, we still had a great evening with excellent, fresh food, a beautiful atmosphere and a story to tell our friends about a highly disgruntled waiter. Everyone can have a bad night, but I am pretty sure this guy hated us.
I will definitely return to Late Harvest Kitchen. I’m not one to let a bad apple spoil the bunch, but I’ll make sure I don’t sit near Mr. Scrooge.
Late Harvest Kitchen
8605 River Crossing, Indianapolis