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Around the World on Washington: Harvest Cuisine Takes Taste Buds on a Trip

A comprehensive menu of fresh, homemade dishes makes this destination a must-try.

As I walked up Washington toward my dinner destination, Harvest Cuisine, my stomach was growling and I was excited to find out what menu options the rustic-looking new addition to the Hoboken restaurant strip would have to offer. The recently opened spot features outdoor seating, and I was thrilled to score a table outside on a perfect 70-degree night.

A tiki bar just through the front door holds the joint's wine glasses, which are promptly supplied to each table exercising the right to BYOB. Inside, a small sushi display overlooks the first floor dining area, where sleek, uniform tables are set for the dinner crowd. The decor is earth-toned and the bamboo-adorned accent wall sets the scene for a casual dining experience. Altogether, the restaurant seats over 150 people throughout two indoor dining rooms and the sidewalk cafe.

I was pleasantly surprised with an eclectic menu featuring world cuisine, but it was the section entitled "Sushi Latino" which grabbed my interest immediately. Before my waiter even introduced himself, I had ordered the Seafood Roll, filled with ceviche. When my waiter informed me that Sushi Latino selections are half-price all day, every day, I upped my order to include the Short Ribs Roll.  I was particularly excited for the Seafood Roll, and while it wasn't a total let-down, the flavor of a great ceviche was possibly lost in the mushy rice casing, while the warm temperature of the rice and the lack of a great lime and cilantro flavoring led this choice to fall flat. My second pick, on the other hand, was a great surprise; the intense flavors of a slow-cooked short rib and semi-sweet plantain fully complemented each other.

For an appetizer, I chose Camaron al Ajillo, a Puerto Rican dish. Five jumbo, undoubtedly fresh shrimp were presented in a green sauce just garlic-y enough to encourage me to dip the accompanying Puerto Rican fried plantains, called tostones, in any remaining sauce.

Dancing around between a few entree options including the Harvest Seafood Paella from Spain and the Grilled Churrasco skirt steak from Argentina, I decide on an Italian dish, Pappardelle. The long, flat noodle, my waiter informs me, is homemade at Harvest Cuisine. The tomato sauce was laced with tender, braised oxtail and had me continuing to twirl bite after bite long after I was full.

Harvest Cuisine does a great job mixing traditional and non-traditional menu items from various countries, while still offering burgers, standard Japanese sushi, dishes to share like Mexican guacamole, and fun sides like yucca fries. A nearby couple enjoyed their first meal at Harvest, too, and as they cleared their plates of some Sushi Latino, Hoboken residents Geoff and Kate Renaud agreed they would definitely come back to Harvest Cuisine for a taste of the brunch menu. After a pleasant evening filled with interesting flavors, so did I.

Open daily for lunch, 10am - 4pm; dinner, 5pm - 11pm, catering available; weekend brunch available; located at 518 Washington St.; 201-459-0008; www.harvestcuisine.com.

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