Ashleigh told me about the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar the other day and I could not even believe it. A place to get craft beer and cheese plates on the Cape? Are you sure you don’t mean clam strips and Bud Light? I visited the website expecting to not even find it or have it “Closed For The Season”, but lo, it exists.
Though it’s located right in the center of Dennis Village, walking into Harvest Gallery transports you to an off-Cape utopia. Local art adorns the walls and it’s cozy with the ambiance of an upscale wine bar mixed with a Northampton coffeehaus.
There is live music every night. From the feel of it, I’m guessing mostly contemporary jazz, with maybe a wild bluegrass night thrown in every once in a while. We were lucky enough to enjoy our cheese and beer to the sounds of Matchbox 20 acoustic night….ahem.
Anyways. My friend Nick and I arrived around 6:00 on a Thursday night to find Ashleigh, alone in the corner, getting acquainted with a cheese plate. Their food offerings are mainly small plates; a changing selection of soups and salads, charcuterie, paninis, and bar snacks, all what look to be sourced from local ingredients.
When I first saw the cheese, I thought that Ashleigh must have already plowed through half of it. Sadly, not the case. I’m (not) sorry, but I guess we’re sort of cheese snobs. When I order a cheese plate, I need all of the accoutrements; the nuts, the jams/spreads, the fruit. It enhances the whole cheese experience. I NEED MY CHEESE EXPERIENCE. For $13, you get three cheeses on a paper plate with some crisps that turn to crumbs when you try to spread the cheese using your silver-colored plastic cutlery. I was a bit let down, but when it comes to what I really came here for, the beer, expectations were exceeded.
We all started with a pint of Blue Hills Pumpkin. This is a really great representation of the pumpkin beer style. It’s not too sugary or overly spiced; just enough so to let you soak up some autumnal action. It has a great balance of malt, hops, and pure pumpkin.
What really makes Harvest Wine Gallery stand out from other bars and restaurants in the area, is the presence of 22 oz. bombers on their menu. On the list tonight were around 6 choices from local breweries like Blue Hills, Clown Shoes, and Pretty Things. And they bring them to you on ice in a wine chiller. Awesome.
First bottle was Clown Shoes Brown Angel, a 7% American Brown Ale. Let’s just say the name is literally what appears on the bottle. Oh Clown Shoes. This beer isn’t for someone who is expecting a typical brown ale. It is very heavy on the hops, dry and bitter, with a hint of nuttiness. It did seem a bit thin for a 7% beer though.
Moving on to Blue Hills Anti-Matter Kölsch, the fourth edition in the Anti-Matter series. This is such a crisp and drinkable beer. Tons of citrus with some grassy notes, this is the definition of a summer beer.
Though the food was a little lacking, the atmosphere, very personable staff, and great bar selection make up for it. With a little fine tuning, Harvest has the potential to become a really upscale spot. We definitely plan on coming back to see how the beer line-up changes.