Harvest, which debuted in the fall to impressive reviews from some of the area’s best-known food critics, was developed around the seasonal kitchen concept. The elegantly rustic accommodations are the backdrop for diners enjoying fresh, healthy and varied menus throughout the year.
Already home to Munzee Marketplace, Local Yocal Farm to Market and Patina Green Home and Market, McKinney residents demonstrate an obvious craving for farm-fresh choices. Just visit the always-popular Historic McKinney Farmers Market to see more evidence.
McKinney residents also share an enthusiasm for the culinary expertise of Rick Wells, whose Rick’s Chophouse is not only a favorite of critics, but a popular destination for local business people, couples enjoying a rare date night or weekend tourists exploring the square. With Harvest, they now have another distinctive dining option from Wells.
Pickled produce and infused spirits adorn the entrance of Harvest.
But it’s not just locals who appreciate the palate-pleasing offerings. The Dallas Morning News named Harvest one of its “Best in DFW Restaurants of 2014” and repeat guests are traveling consistently from miles away to sample the menu.
Harvest is a destination dining experience. Guests drive from Dallas and beyond for the friendly, relaxed environment, local flavor and comfortable charm.
Rising star chef Andrea Shackelford has teamed with Wells in the past. The Texas native is overseeing menu development for Harvest and shares a dedication to high standards and carefully refined sense of what Dallas-area diners are looking for. Shackelford’s impressive talent has been on display in some of the area’s top kitchens. This experience paired with her strong desire to foster relationships with local farmers is the perfect combination.
Entrepreneur and City Council Member Don Day is once again behind-the-scenes. His diverse portfolio of business ventures benefits the community in countless ways. Day has been instrumental in the revitalization of Historic Downtown McKinney and has played a key role in the development of Rick's Chophouse, as well as the new restaurant.
“I’m thrilled to see what businesses, like Harvest, contribute to the continued renewal of the square and how this movement benefits McKinney as a whole,” said Day.
Raised in a small farming community in Oklahoma, Wells often credits his late father, Coach Tom Wells, with stressing the importance of keeping life’s work relevant and giving back.
Harvest chef Andrea Shackelford
“I’ve opened restaurants all over the country and have learned a lot, but I got to the point where I realized that a restaurant should be more than a place to serve guests” he said. “I want to remember where everything we use comes from and function in a way that naturally sustains and gives back.”
Wells believes the farm-to-table concept offers a great opportunity for restaurant owners to support local farmers and make a broader impact on the community’s economy. The restaurant uses fresh ingredients from local and regional farmers, ranchers and growers. Dishes feature cage-free chicken and grass-fed beef, as well as organic local produce.
The company has also launched the Seed Project Foundation, an initiative aimed at highlighting the importance of sustainability. The foundation funds agriculture and educational projects through the sales of its Harvest Collection, a series of artwork highlighting local farms, Seasonal Harvest Dinners and its seasonal candles.
Harvest is located in the space formerly occupied by Grotto and Sauce, right on the square in Historic Downtown McKinney. Dining rooms might remind diners of a well-appointed ranch house, with exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood features and lighting suspended by ropes. In an age when so many meals are eaten quickly and alone, seasonal kitchens are attempting to reconnect the diner with their neighbors and, ultimately, their environment.
Shackelford builds menus with a southern flavor, and features categories such as Greens & Grains, Water, Ranch and Farm. She gives dishes a distinctive flair by working with alternating flavors. Among the menu items that draws most enthusiasm were the deviled eggs with pickled mustard seed and caramelized pecan. Among the other items resulting in raves were the pan-roasted red fish with hominy, linguica sausage and black grapes; and the chicken-fried buffalo with squash gratin, sage and sausage gravy.
The desserts also offer titillating twists on traditional southern favorites. An interesting assortment of freshly infused cocktails and extensive list of “Texas born grapes, beers and whiskeys” add to an experience that can be reproduced nowhere else.
Learn more about Harvest and Shackelford at harvesttx.com.