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“Good food but not superb” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fish Restaurant

The Fish Restaurant
2983 S State Rd, Harbor Springs, MI 49740-8873
231-526-3969
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Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Good food but not superb”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We ventured a bit out of town from Harbor Springs, MI for supper. The hostess and wait staff were very helpful and welcoming. It was fun to watch the hummingbirds at the feeders just outside the windows. The decorating was fun and modern. We both had fish, which was good but not outstanding since one side of it was overdone. We would go back but more because of the atmosphere and to give them a chance than because we had a memorable meal.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    10
    3
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Michigan
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
“Worth the drive if you like fish or even want a burger at a really cool restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

The fish is 10-15 minutes north of harbor springs - somewhat in the middle of nowhere. But its busy most nights with an upscale crowd. We had a multigenerational group and everyone was happpy. Mussels scallops burgers ... great wine list. Bar is cute but only seats 6-8?? Restaurant has beautiful landscaping and hummingbird feeders which attracted a new hatch. Love that this place has so much character...and great food. Moderately expensive.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Wonderful food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

This is set just outside of Harbor Springs sitting in the woods. A local chef treats you to his creative talents. The service is good and the room small. The menu rotates and you are sure to leave very satisfied! Make reservations!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Satisfying food... and if you're lucky, they might even honor your reservation...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

This is my second review of Fish, and it's going to be a love/hate observation. First, the food. John Kilborn, the proprietor, genuinely cares about delivering good food at a reasonable price point and he mostly succeeds. In the land of planked White Fish, Walleye and Perch, he delivers a very satisfying fish house experience, reinforced by a cheery professional staff, all served in a funky, contemporary road house decor.

But there are issues. Because Fish is one of those restaurants that takes reservations without bothering to reconcile whether the restaurant has the capacity to actually accommodate the reservation. That's right. They'll take reservations from everyone -- even though the restaurant never really bothers to calculate whether it will be able to seat the diners when they arrive.

Frustrating? You bet. And long term, it can't be good for business. On a recent evening, we arrived at the requested reservation time and were greeted by a twelve year old hostess who politely told us -- and the other arriving diners also seeking to have their reservations honored -- that there would be a delay in seating us. "How long?" we inquired. "Maybe a half hour or so...," was the reply. It was the "or so" that gave us real pause. And of course, our twelve year old hostess had no seating chart with which to calculate table availabilities... because no such determinations are ever made. It's all "evening at the improv." We left, as did two of the parties behind us.

This was the third time we'd confronted this situation. On the preceding occasions, we'd toughed it out and found seats at the tiny bar. But not this time. Nor the next time... if there ever is a next time.

This is really not a difficult problem to solve. A capable front-of-the-house manager, a seating chart and a policy change would do wonders. And I really hope John gets this message and addresses the issue. The food's better than average and he deserves the business. And, of course, I do recognize that there are people who could care less about reservations. So be it. But please don't tell diners that you take reservations -- unless you have some intention of accommodating them.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“New find in Nothern Michigan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Very, very UpNorth Michigan experience ... wonderfully situated in an outback location in rural Harbor Springs ... Truly an UpNorth experience !
Nice well-stocked bar while waiting for a table ... reservations on the weekend are a must ! The neon bar even handles a St. Germain Elderflower vodka martini with a champagne topper ... Wonderful ! Service is friendly ... Dinner very well prepared ... A variety to choose from - all done with pride !

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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