The year was 1996. The world had just learned the Macarena. Clinton beat out Dole for reelection, Tupac was gunned down in Vegas, and in Richmond Heights, a fine-dining restaurant focusing on seasonal cuisine served its first customers. Today, the words "seasonal," "farm-to-table" and "local" are thrown around by everyone under the sun, but back then, no one was doing this kind of food — until Harvest came around. It was an innovator, forging relationships with local farmers when everyone else was content to use large corporate purveyors, and curating an award-winning wine list before it was trendy. In 2010 chef and owner Nick Miller bought Harvest from its original owner (Steve Gontram), and he carried forward the restaurant's legacy — with the fresh oysters at the bar on Sundays, the flank steak, the iconic bread pudding — until the last plate went out of the kitchen this past Father's Day. Miller chalks up the restaurant's demise to a now-crowded field of top-tier restaurants — ironically, a movement that Harvest paved the way for. There wasn't a dry eye in the house the day the doors closed. From the servers who had worked there since it opened, to the regulars who had been coming since day one, the last night of service seemed like a wake for a beloved family member — one who you always meant to spend more time with but never got around to it. It just seemed like Harvest would always be here. Now we're left with only the memories and an insatiable yearning for that bread pudding.
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