Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: Dine in the Depot at the stunning Harvey House | Food drink

Harvey House’s cuisine could best be described as contemporary continental: the upper Midwest with a strong French influence. The atmosphere is a bit steakhouse (shrimp cocktail, rib eye, duck), a bit locally grown (shishito peppers, wild rice) and a lot of subtle technique.

Intense attention to detail connects fleurons of crème fraîche on a salmon tartare to a quarter-inch-thick hat of grilled pumpernickel crowning a drizzle of walleye. Everything is finely tuned, superimposed, almost delicate.

All this invites the guests to take a break. Separate the pig riff into a blanket, in which the cheddar kielbasa is smoked and stuffed into a sweet brioche bun. Spread it in grainy mustard – the combination is classic for a reason. Every part, smoky, sweet and spicy, makes sense.

The cold, velvety, sweet corn soup for the summer was reminiscent of something I had once read about Thomas Keller sorrel soup, described by Ruth Reichl as “the essence of green”. Corn soup at Harvey House rings the same bells, as if the kitchen takes corn and makes it taste more, purely, like itself.

Chilled Sweet Corn Soup is topped with crunchy popped sorghum and served with corn chicharrónes at The Harvey House in Madison.


There are places on the menu where the technique is subtly visible, like the pop of green in the spätzle accompanying the perfectly cooked walleye, or the stuffed and breaded chicken cordon bleu with the bone still in it, like a lollipop of lamb or a fairground turkey leg. . The latter looks like a party trick, and it’s cheesy, heavy, and damn good. (When was the last time you saw cordon bleu from scratch on a menu?).

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