Freshly baked bread, hand-churned butter, and pies made with just-picked berries: Ralph Meranto has not forgotten the flavors of his childhood,and he is passionate about sharing them with guests at his restaurant, Harry & Jeans.

Located on Woodruff Road in front of the Holiday Inn Express, the eatery is named for his maternal grandparents. “I spent every summer on their farm, picking fresh vegetables and fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and grapes,” he said. “My grandmother made her own butter, and sold eggs during the war. She taught me how to bake. I was fortunate to be exposed to all this amazing food growing up.” Meranto’s paternal grandmother had a brick oven in the yard for baking bread, and made her own pasta. His father taught him to make sauces. Favorite recipes from grandparents and aunts have all found their way into the Harry & Jeans menu.

“We tried to use a lot of those flavor profiles and put a little upscale quality into every dish, such as adding wine or butter,” he said. “Everything is made from scratch. We make all of the sauces in-house so that the intricacies of the flavors come out. It really is all about the food.” Some popular dishes include Smothered Chicken, Chicken Alfredo, Crab Cakes, Shrimp & Grits, Makers Shrimp & Scallops, and Filet Americana; classic American comfort food updated for modern palates. Guests can finish with desserts like Grandmas Caramel Apple Crisp or their Gooey Brownie, one of his mother’s recipes.

Harry & Jeans elegant decor recalls the comforts of home, with seating that allows for generous spacing between diners. “It was designed after pictures of my grandparents house, with areas like the Dining Room, The Family Room, and the Parlor decorated with colors of the period,” Meranto said. Children are welcome, and the childrens menu offers dishes like cheesy penne, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, and lasagna for $3.29.

Honeyvine, the adjacent wine, tea and dessert bar, has a more contemporary feel with a tapas menu, and over 80 bottles of wine to choose from. Bakery items include muffins, cupcakes, pies, as well as wedding, birthday and specialty cakes. “You can take your wine into the restaurant, or order from Harry & Jeans menu in Honeyvine,” Meranto said.

On Friday nights, local jazz pianist Keith Davis plays the restaurant’s baby grand, accompanied by a string bass. Columbia pianist John Valerio plays on Saturday evenings. Harry & Jeans Sunday brunch menu includes pancakes, waffles, Stuffed French Toast and huge housemade cinnamon rolls, as well as Eggs Chesapeake, which features crab cakes and champagne sauce. In addition to breakfast fare, diners can order from the dinner menu all day on Sunday. Meranto, whose original Harry & Jeans restaurant has been open for nine years in Rock Hill, said he is interested to see which dishes will be favorites in the Greenville area. “For some people, whatever they order on the first night will be the only thing they ever order,” he said. We try to get them to try something else, but they’ve just become passionate about that one dish.
For more information, visit www.harryandjeans.com or call 864-679-3800.