I finally made it to Longwood to visit Harmoni Market, the second location of the fun little College Park cafe. They were participating in January’s Eat Local Week, so it seemed like a good excuse to give it a try.
Of course Harmoni would be participating. It’s owner, John Gabrovic, is one of the founding members of Slow Food Orlando, the group that extols the virtues of consuming food that, among other things, is produced by local growers and ranchers. Slow Food Orlando was the organizer of Eat Local Week.
Harmoni Market Longwood is in the Springs Plaza at the corner of Wekiva Springs Road and State Road 434. If you know where Mykonos is, you’ll find Harmoni behind it on the other side of the plaza.
The Longwood Harmoni has a nice homey feel and in fact there is a sign out front that say, “Welcome to our home.” It has sort of a farmhouse decor, with wood floors and tabletops. There are three sections to the space. The first is the market, which, like the original in College Park, isn’t exactly chockfull of comestibles. Still, the market space here is smaller, so the lack of stock isn’t so glaring.
On the other side of the space is a separate bar area, which also has seating for diners. The middle space is the main dining room, which has booths with large pendant lights with a swirl design over them. On the far end of the room is a picture window that looks onto the kitchen. The words Viva Bene! are written on the window.
I chose my lunch from the prix fixe Eat Local menu. For my first course I chose the Mediterranean chili, ignoring the irony of a local dish being named for a body of water thousands of miles away. Although not clear from the description (or dearth of one), it was seafood based, with chunks of locally caught fish, shrimp and scallops mixed in with peas and carrots. It was really more of a blond stew, if such a fine line can be drawn, but a healthy dose of cumin gave it that distinctive chili flavor.
For my main course I had the Rockin’ Goat Flatbread, which featured nubbins of Cape Canaveral rock shrimp on crispy-firm whole wheat flatbread with tomatoes, goat cheese and arugula. I get the goat part from the cheese, but I can only guess at the rockin’ -- in Italy, many restaurants on their English language menus call arugula “rocket lettuce,” even though that’s not the translation. Whatever, this was one rockin’ flatbread, although, frankly, the portion of shrimp was a little, well, shrimpy.
Service was friendly, but menu knowledge was not very good. The staff should have been versed in what made the items on the Eat local menu local. (It could also be argued that that information should have been included on the specially printed menu.)
Harmoni Market Longwood is at 145 Wekiva Springs Road. Although the Harmoni Market Web site says it is open for lunch and dinner daily, a phone recording says the Longwood restaurant is closed on Mondays. Best call first; 407-637-8050. Here’s a link to the regular menu.