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“Always nice” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harbor House

Harbor House
550 Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202
+1 414-395-4900
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Ranked #40 of 1,409 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Harbor Dr & N Lincoln Memorial Dr
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Always nice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We enjoy the ambience, the view and the service. The staff have always been friendly, attentive and courteous, and treat children well. The food has never disappointed. It's a great place for fresh seafood and their breads are wonderful. The exception to my Bartolotta experiences.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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330 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    171
    94
    41
    17
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“So so and not worth the money”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Recently had a business dinner at the Harbor House in Milwaukee. Greatly anticipated this restaurant as other restaurants owned by the same group have always pleased...but not this time...Prices high, food quality only so so. I had the lobster pot pie. It was a pleasant enough flavor, but high amount of potatoes (maybe it should have been called the potato pot pie) and the top of the dish had a piece of puff pastry cut out or taken out of a box and plopped on it. My brain was thinking rich homemade crust and what I got was a dish that could have come out of the frozen foods section of the supermarket.

I was driving so I ordered sparkling water and the waitress brought me seven up in a glass.

Other diners in my group also were not overwhelmed by the food and service.

Setting is beautiful, only valet parking for $5 available.

Expensive night for a group and disappointing food and service.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe B, Public Relations Manager at Harbor House, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experience. Please e-mail media@bartolottas.com with details and your contact information so that we may follow up with you. Thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheaton, Illinois
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting for a meal and great service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

Took our college aged twin daughters here for their birthday. We asked for a table by the window when we made the reservation and that is what we received. Although, you have almost the same view from most of the tables in the restaurant. Beautiful views of Lake Michigan and Milwaukee and lovely at night also with all the lights in the buildings. I agree with the reviewer that mentioned the two tops along the aisle. I would go further to say that even the two tops along the windows are small. The table itself is just too small.
The space is beautiful. I would call it Restoration Hardware meets Cape Cod. The is a dark paneled dining area at the rear which is smaller than the main part of the restaurant and looks cozy. The bar is large with long stretches of counter all around and a good number of high tops. The outdoor dining areas weren't yet open but look lovely, especially a gravelled courtyard with adirondack chairs. Maybe this is just an outdoor waiting area, not sure.
I can't give this dining experience a 5 because I didn't think the food quality was good enough for the entrees themselves. i think that when you are in this price range, it needs to be perfectly done. Raw bar was great. Popcorn shrimp appetizer good with minimal breading; I didn't like the sweet chili dipping sauce it came with-weird spice in it, tamarind maybe? It tasted better with the cocktail sauce that came with the oysters. The food was good but the pasta Genovese had too much residual oil, the scallops were too salty, the potatoes with the trout were rubbery.
The service was wonderful. Thank you to Matt and Amanda for friendly, attentive and professional service thank you for the birthday desserts. A nice touch.
I definitely will try it again because maybe it was just an off night in the kitchen. Will also try a casual meal in the bar with the raw bar and a bottle of wine.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Disappointing for a Bartolotta restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Visited for dinner sometime in 2012 and was disappointed by the so-so quality of the meal and the pretty hefty price tag.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe B, Public Relations Manager at Harbor House, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
We would like to hear more about your experience. Please e-mail media@bartolottas.com so that we may follow up with you. Thank you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Bend, WI
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Wish the review could be better but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The bad:
It was a Saturday and busy, but isn't a popular restaurant used to being busy on a Saturday night? Right from the start our service was spotty. Since we had an early reservation Hostess warned us that we had to be out by 7. Perhaps she should have strolled by our table when we hadn't even been served our entrees at 6:30.

After asking if they knew how to make a Sidecar cocktail (one of my favorites) I ordered one since the server assured me that they did. When it arrived as a glass filled with clear liquid I asked the server if she was sure this was my Sidecar. When she insisted, "Yes." I replied, "Where is the brandy (cognac), Gran Marnier, Triple Sec?" At that point she agreed to take it back and replace it. She did suggest she could serve it on the rocks if that would help. Really? This exchange was a definite indicator of later service. Some entrees served. Some not. Salads served, salads not. You get the picture.

The Good:
View is great. My halibut was fantastic. My husband and grandson ordered cioppino which while very tasty was really pretty skimpy for the price. Oh, if only Eagan's was still around! Even Devon Seafood House manages cioppino better.

For the price I can't give it an excellent or even very good. Needs some work for the price you pay.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joe B, Public Relations Manager at Harbor House, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. We would like the opportunity to follow up with you to learn more about your experience. Please e-mail media@bartolottas.com with your contact information.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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