Well, let's start by apologizing for a complete lack of tweeting this evening. My phone was dead when I awoke this morning. (The brain is forgetting to charge it at night.) And I appear to have lost my travel charger. I didn't get home until after dinner to get the phone charged.
We dined with our friends, Sarah and John at Harmoni Market and Bistro in Longwood this evening. We have eaten at the one in College Park nearly two years ago and thought it would be a nice opportunity for all four of us to try this new restaurant.
I didn't look at prices, but I will say the market part is kind of spiffy with its food selections. The pasta sauce available is one highly recommended by Smitten Kitchen. I think such things are good to note when you evaluate the estimated quality of food.
So, onto the dining experience where the four of us sat in a cozy (code word for small, oddly small) booth. We could have chosen a table, but we were already situated. The waiter was really great and on top of things. We passed on the Fall/Winter Menu and the Eat Local Menu because none of them had vegetarian options. I asked, but he could not offer a Prix Fixe vegetarian menu for dinner and said the vegetarian luncheon items could not be used instead. Sad for us. John did order the truffle mac and cheese off of the Fall/Winter Menu without the bacon.
After we ordered, some cibatta bread was delivered to the table accompanied by an amazing dip of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic pushed to one side so it was easy to avoid if desired. It was the best dip like it we've ever had. And the bread tasted really good and fresh. John ordered the baked ricotta dip as an appetizer, which he said was very good. Sarah had the Caprese Panini with house/bistro salad. Paul had the pasta with pesto, and I had the Mediterranean Vegetable Panini also with the house salad. Everything was fine except. . .my sandwich bread seemed quite greasy (not just the vegetables, which you would expect to be greasy). Sarah's bread did not look as greasy. John's mac and cheese was good, but very rich just like the waiter said. Paul's pasta was good, better hot when it first came out. I will say even though the sun-dried tomatoes were sliced larger than you would generally expect, they were definitely the best I've ever had.
There are a few other issues, which I wouldn't necessarily mention except that I read another review from some time back that listed the same problems. I am concerned that the problems have not been solved. First, a girl came from the kitchen to deliver John's Ricotta Dip and called it Spinach Artichoke. He said "No, we didn't order that. We have the ricotta." And she said, "Oh, yes, that's what it is." Then, that same girl and another one following her came to deliver crab cakes to Paul and myself. This time our waiter was standing behind them and as my eyes opened wide, he said "That doesn't belong at this table." Next, the balsamic dressing that we were told would accompany mine and Sarah's salads ended up being a thick fig-balsamic jelly instead (which is normally served at lunch). Paul was the only one at the table who liked the alternative and even wanted to bring some home. However, jelly isn't quite what I want on my greens. Also, the salad was described to me as cucumbers and other veggies over greens. This one came out with just mixed greens, cheese (which was good), and croutons. So, I really have to agree with the other reviewer that the kitchen staff needs to get their act together because I can only imagine how dumb the waiter must have felt for telling us one thing and something else being delivered.
My review of this restaurant as a whole is mixed. I really wasn't thrilled with any of my meal, but Paul was very happy with all of it except the bread on the sandwich being greasy. Neither Sarah or John finished their plates, which generally suggests to me that it wasn't the best food ever. I think I'll just say if we give Harmoni another shot, it will be back at the College Park location.