The Harrison

The Harrison is always delicious. It’s your perfect friendly neighborhood restaurant with top notch food. But because it’s situated within spitting distance of the likes of Nobu, Wolfgang’s steakhouse, and Tribeca Grill, it never gets the recognition that it so richly deserves.

Pan fried gnocchi with pesto sauce 8.5/10: When did gnocchi become so good? Maybe this one was a little heavy on the potatoes, but it was still bouncy and soft. The duck confit, tomatoes, and pesto made a great dry sauce.

Soft shell crab 6.5/10: They could have given us a meatier soft shell crab… or more of them. It’s a very easy protein to cook, and they did it well, but there was just nothing interesting about the dish.

Octopus 8.5/10; The octopus itself is one of my favorite octopuses. In its many iterations at the Harrison, it’s always impossibly tender and well charred. I’m not sure what’s going on with the harissa sauce. It was too overpowering.

Parmesan salsa 6/10: Great idea to mix parmesan this way. Not very interesting beyond that.

Cod with yukon potatoes 8/10: or so the menu said. The waitress said brandade, so they must cook multiple fish this way – in a deconstructed croquette with a crusty layer of melted cheese on top. It’s a great dip. I could have polished off a whole loaf of bread with this.

Deconstructed romanesco sauce with fava beans and pieces of bread 5/10: It was just a difficult-to-eat cooked salad to me.

Lamb osso bucco 9.5/10: So tender and good. I don’t know what those white strips were, but the meat was incredibly tender, the stew underneath was herby, and the chickpeas added more body to the dish. I wish I had found some delicious soft cooked tendon. That would have made my night.

Birffday cake (spelled Birthday cake on the menu) 8/10: It’s not just your usual moist chocolate cake with ganache and mouse, but there’s some crunchy crispy chocolate bits on top like a rice cracker.  The surprise (because you cannot see a thing on that cake) made the crispy rice cracker thing that much better.

Coconut bread pudding 6.5/10: Too dense.

Chocolate shell with caramel mouse 6.5/10: It was like a deconstructed peanut butter cup. It was clearly better than your regular old peanut butter cup, but nothing made it great.

Deconstruction seemed to be a theme this time around, but for the most part, it worked.

The Harrison is low key luxury. Jimmy Bradley may not be a household name, but he’s well respected and rarely misses. Despite the small operation, the menus are constantly changing here. Even the wine list has evolved over the years. Both the innovation and old staples such as the octopus keep me coming back for more.

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