Food Porn: Harry’s Harbour Place Grille

UPDATE: Since this article, Harry’s has been sold and is under new management.  They will be called Acqua and will have a new menu, when we visit and try out this new menu I will link to the review here.

I have a bit of a dilemma, I really want to write about how I was blown away by the food at Harry’s, but I can’t.  I want to say it is now one of my favorite places to go for a special occasion, but it’s not.  It’s not because of horrible service (we’ve had great service each time we’ve been there) or because the location isn’t nice (the inside is gorgeous).  Unfortunately, the problem with our meal was the food.  But I don’t want to make it seem like they served us garbage, they didn’t.  The food was good but not great, and considering the bill for our meal was not cheap, I expected a little more out of Harry’s.

This wasn’t my first time at Harry’s but it was our first proper dining experience.  Our first visit was for a dinner tasting for our wedding and the food that was served that day to us I remember as being quite delicious.  This was expected, though, as they were basically trying to win us over in order to get us to book our reception there.  Honestly, on that day, they did a great job and we have been excited ever since to have our wedding there (still am, the place is gorgeous and right on Lake Erie-super cool locale).  So when I found out we were going to dinner last week at Harry’s for my future mother-in-law’s birthday, I was really looking forward to it.  Here’s how the meal went..

We arrived at 7pm on a quiet Friday night at Harry’s.  There were maybe only a handful of other diners in the restaurant with us, but a large birthday party going on in the banquet room.  Visiting this waterfront restaurant during winter doesn’t really do the location justice.  This is the type of restaurant that really shines in the summer time when you can look out into the water and see boats passing by.  They are quite slow during the winter, so reservations probably are not necessary  We were seated right away, had our drink orders taken and looked over the menu.

Harry’s has nothing too ground breaking on their menu but includes some solid classics for fine dining.  Our party ordered three different entrees; the Rack of Lamb (pictured directly below), the 16 oz Strip Steak (in the gallery) and the Bone-In Rib Eye (which was a special for the evening).  I ordered the Rack of Lamb which actually included a good amount of food for $39 and had a lovely presentation.  The Loganberry demi-glace was very strong and I quickly learned to dip the meat into it sparingly after my first bite because it was very sweet.   The exterior was encrusted with pistachios, which I would normally love but it really overwhelmed the entire flavor of the lamb.  Overall, an OK dish that I probably will not ever order again.

Rack of Lamb

Alli ordered the Bone In Rib-eye ($45), one of our favorite cuts of meat when we are dining at a quality steakhouse/fine dining establishment.  Normally, they are packed with flavor but Harry’s dish was a bit disappointing.  The meat definitely wasn’t over cooked, the interior was a perfect reddish/pink, but the meat was tough and almost chewy.  It still had a great flavor but the texture was off and overall it didn’t live up to other Bone In Rib-eye’s that we’ve had at Torches or Buffalo Chophouse.  The Strip Steak, on the contrary, was incredibly tender and basically melted in my mouth.

In terms of sides and appetizers, I had a delicious cheddar, apple-wood smoked bacon scalloped potato pie.  Even though there wasn’t a large amount of actual bacon, it had been cooked into the cheese and potato long enough that every bite was ‘bacon-flavored’.  I only managed to eat a tiny portion of my side so I decided to save the rest for my breakfast the following morning and it was perfect.  Everyone else decided to order the French Fries that were drizzled in Truffle Oil (although, when they say “drizzled” they mean “coated”).  These fries were extremely rich and salty.  Even though the fries were enjoyed by all that night,  I could envision someone thinking they were too oily for their taste.  The one problem with the fries was the temperature, they weren’t that warm which lead me to believe they had sat underneath a heat lamp.  But still, with all of that said, I found myself picking them off everyone else’s plates all night.

Bone in Rib Eye

Alli’s Dad and brother both really enjoyed their Strip Steaks ($52) and when I had made my way through my entree I realized I should have gotten that for myself.  Not only were they served on really neat Buffalo cutting boards (definitely want one, see below) but the toppings of black truffle butter, balsamic reduction sauce and buttermilk onion rings deliciously completed the meal.

I personally didn’t try any of the desserts myself but both the chocolate cake and cheesecake disappeared quickly.  The food wasn’t “bad” but for the large bill (you’re looking at least 125 or more for 2 people) at the end of the night, it didn’t seem like we had food that deserved the price.  Maybe I just ordered something that wasn’t that great, everyone else that I’ve talked to has had good things to say about their food.  Maybe the chef just wasn’t on his A game that night, who knows.  Even with this meal, I am still looking forward to our wedding reception (I mean it’s my wedding, how could I not be?).  We have the strip steak on the menu so I’m glad that it was the shining dining option of the night.  I’ll be ordering that for myself and hopefully will have the time to enjoy it on our crazy night.

Harry's Harbour Place Grille on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: Harry’s Harbour Place Grille

  1. w

    I’m also having my wedding at Harry’s and had a lovely tasting. I’ve eaten there for dinner and have had great meals but, like you, am discouraged by the price. If it were a little cheaper, I’d go as often as I hit up Trattoria Aroma and Left Bank.

    Re: your wedding – have you heard anything more about the new owner? I read the Business First article and that was it. I’m super curious about how this will affect the wedding menus. They said all previous bookings/events will be honored.

    • Alli Suriani

      I was a little freaked out about the new owner situation too….so far nothing has changed and from talking to Claudia (the lady who does the banquets) she assured me that the menu for weddings and other events will stay exactly the same, and all the staff is pretty much staying the same as well so thats good. The only thing that may change soon is the name of the place..however they said this would happen in early May and it hasnt yet, its still Harrys…however, Claudia also assured me that they would cover any cost of sending notices of the name change to wedding guests

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