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“Outdoor Dining Along the Lakefront” 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
Naples, Florida
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Outdoor Dining Along the Lakefront”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Stumbled upon this gem while visiting Milwaukee and glad we did! We sat outdoors and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance. Service was excellent; food was very good. A good value for our/your dollar.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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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
Sussex, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Go for the View”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

We have frequented this establishment several times for brunches, dinners & quick bar dinner on the patio since it first opened. I also want to preface this review by saying we spend summers in Maine so feel I have a very good idea of what to expect with an establishment that is trying to bring coastal food to the Midwest.

Pros:
This is by far the BEST place to go if you want lake shore views. EVERY table has a view of the lake. I love how the interior tables are up on a ledge & the interior floor tables are between the tables next to the window. If your plan is to eat outside, be prepared to view the Calatrava & coastline, not the break water facing east. I was first put off by this design but now totally understand. The building protects patrons from the wind & it was so comfortable sitting outside. Again, the area is designed so that ALL tables view the water. Adirondack chairs with tables closest to the shore. The second level is normal height table & chairs & further back are the high-top table & chairs. Great planning & design Joe!

There is an excellent selection of shellfish, fresh water & salt water fish prepared in many ways available at all of our visits. We were there for brunch today & want to give a rave review for the benedict dishes. They are included in the price, choose from crab cake, traditional or salmon & are MADE TO ORDER; they are NOT in a warming tray made hours ago. EXCELLENT idea. The shrimp cocktail was the BEST I've had in the Midwest.

Cocktails have always been well fortified. I disagree w/ a previous reviewer about the mai tai. What Hawaiian island serves a mai tail with crushed ice? We have been to Hawaii 7 times on all the major islands & have NEVER had a mai tai served w/ crushed ice.

The brunch had 3 salad choices (roasted beet, Caesar, traditional) with dressings on the side. EXCELLENT idea. For those of us that prefer to taste the veges instead of them swimming in dressing, thanks.

If visiting this establishment for a casual meal, the fries are not to be missed. They are crispy & seasoned perfectly. I prefer mine with sour cream but for some reason none was available however the waitress suggested creme fraise with mustard & it was excellent. I'll request that next time. Kudos to the waitress for taking the initiative in pleasing the customer instead of just saying no.

Cons:
I have had the chowder a couple times & it could use a little sherry. If you are so inclined to have soup, choose the bisque.

The lobster roll has a LOT of lobster but it was touch & contained the mushy claw ends. The brioche bread is toasted but mine was served cold & mushy. I don't know if that is the norm or a mix up in the kitchen. If you toast bread I would expect it to be warm & crispy on the outside.

We took my in-laws to the brunch today & they have summered in Maine for decades. We were all disappointed by the lobster pot pie. 2 of the 4 of us did not have any lobster & the other 2 had 1 tiny piece. If this restaurant chooses to continue serving this dish I suggest quality control be put in place to ensure each serving contains all ingredients that it should have.

Will I return? Absolutely, on another gorgeous, sunny day.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Great view, good food and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

My wife and I went there for our anniversary and had a great meal.
You simply can't beat the view - even though we weren't right by the windows (our choice), the views are still spectacular - can't get them anywhere else in Milwaukee.
The food was also very good. I really liked my lobster pot pie - a LOT of lobster, and interesting veggies and sauce (much like lobster bisque) even if it wasn't quite a classic pot pie. My wife really enjoyed her baked halibut - very mild and buttery.
Friendly yet professional service. And they were nice to give us a slice of very good key lime pie since it was our anniversary.

Only two dings. The hostess was a bit cold and offputting. C'mon - be a little welcoming! And, normally, Bartolatta restaurants are immaculately clean. Less so here - my wife said the women's room was a real mess.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
Hamilton, Ontario
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Perfect setting, great meal.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Perhaps the best setting for a restaurant in Milwaukee. Lots of lake view seating. We didn't make a reservation and were seated in the bar area which was fine with us.
I had the Cioppino (seafood stew) and my husband had the Tuna, we both throughly enjoyed our meal. We also returned the next afternoon to have a glass of wine and take advantage of the view.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Battle Creek, Michigan
2 reviews
“Wonderful view with a great dining experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

I really enjoyed the beautiful view of the lakefront area as my wife and I enjoyed a very tasty meal.

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

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