Friday, February 12, 2010

Brussels sprout candy

I just wanted to get your attention with that one :)The maple bacon brussels sprouts at Harper House on Main Street in Downtown Hoptown are labeled as a side dish, but they were so yummy that I thought of mine as dessert.

My parents swooped in last Thursday night for my birthday and blessed me with a weekend of great meals.

I know before I swore allegiance to Da Vinci's calamari as the best (only) in town. But the calamari at Harper House really got me talking. It seemed like the squid they used were extra tiny, and the pieces were also very finely cut. The batter was very light and salty. And the whole mess of rings and legs was piled on top of this tomato-sausage-peppercorn sauce that was like a different country in every bite.

So I think Harper House's calamari is my new favorite version of squid. I've got some frozen squid in my freezer and I'm very tempted to try to replicate this dish.

I ordered salmon with the aforementioned brussels sprouts and new fingerling potatoes. It was all "Um-Meee" as Stephen likes to say. We at on the second floor, at a table overlooking main street. Stephen had a blast running up to the window and creating fingerprint art while shouting "Up! Up! Up!" -- I'm assuming because he was excited to be up. There really aren't very many second floors in this town. The wait staff were really sweet and helpful, without being cloying. They accidentally brought out a side of maccaroni for Stephen, loaded him up with colorful straws with plastic fish on the ends, and brought a free dessert to make up for my dad's porkchop being overcooked. Oh. And we accidentally brought home the etch-a-sketch they lent Stephen. I'm bringing back as soon as I can afford to eat there again :-)

There are many reasons to like this restaurant:
1. The food is really yummy. The menu offers mostly "new southern" cooking and enough adventurous choices to give me something to look forward to ordering next time.
2. Harper House occupies a building in the heart of downtown, where we desperately need classy gathering places.
3. They play old movies on the back wall.
4. The staff are personable and attentive, without seeming like their sole motive is to garner a big tip.
7. The atmosphere is just the right balance of sophisticated and warm, bustling but allowing for intimate conversation.
6. They've got deviled eggs on their menu.

Harper House on Urbanspoon