10/05/2012 11:24:00 AM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Flatbread at Harvest Seasonal Grill

True talk: most flatbread is just a sad cousin of pizza that isn’t quite as fresh or tasty. So when we saw flatbreads touted as a cornerstone of the menu at University City’s new Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, we weren’t brimming with excitement. The dish that arrived at our table, crisp edges curling off the wooden serving board, proved us completely wrong. Light wheat dough is flattened into a super thin crust, just substantial enough to provide a base for rich local Kennett Square mushrooms, chunks of prime cut steak, caramelized shallots and melted Swiss cheese.

The flecks of sage on top were a great final touch to the flavor combo, and even though we knew several other courses were following, we couldn’t help finish the whole thing. But that was another surprise of the night: the whole dinner went down easily and left us satisfied but not overstuffed. Part of the concept of this restaurant, opened last week in the former Marathon Grill and MarBar space at the corner of 40th and Walnut, is sustainable food that’s also health conscious.

The menu is admittedly not groundbreaking, having been transplanted almost wholesale from Dave Magrogan’s original Harvest in Glen Mills, but it’s solid, and more than half of the dishes ring in at under 500 calories. The thinness of that flatbread crust was great for texture, but even better for the waistline. Even desserts put flavor over heft - the tray is series of short glasses filled with ingredients you might often find in pies (think cherry tart filling with graham cracker crumbs or pumpkin pie custard topped with fresh whipped cream), but without the actual butter-laden pie crust. Next time we’re headed to a movie at Rave Cinemas next door, we might try to sneak in a flatbread instead of popcorn.

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