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“Fabulous views”
Review of Harbor Restaurant

Harbor Restaurant
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Ranked #94 of 567 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: State and Cabrillo
Transit: The 'wharf woodie' and the local trollies can bring customers form the downtown area to Stearn's Wharf.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We dined here 7/4 so the place was packed and service was patchy. The views make up for so much and the food was all solidly good. Menu is standard fare: steaks, seafood, salads.

Thank MWSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 - 227 of 374 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2013

Were out on the pier and wanted a light lunch. Stopped ito the Harbor and had some delicious NE clam chowder and sandwiches.
Food was good, service good, and had a ncie view. We went here because the wait and crowd at the Santa Barbara Shellfish was too long and it was hot and crowded. Was actually a lot more pleasant dining at the harbour.

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Thank dinerdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

When I think of Santa Barbara I think of the boutique shops on State St. and tourists and people in Nautica apparel walking their dogs, but thanks to Harbor Restaurant, now I also think "fine dining". My family was visiting Stearn's Wharf for the first time. I suggest following State street all the way to the ocean where the road seems to dead-end at Cabrillo; across the street it will seem the way is barred by a fountain area. Cross Cabrillo toward the wharf but bear right around the fountain. There is a ticketing-gate there (the sign says the first 90 minutes are free if you get your ticket validated) take a ticket, and then drive your car right over the ocean on the wooden planks of the pier.

Just like I expected, the wharf had bar-fare restaurants with outdoor seating and restaurants with shrimp and lobster served 100 ways and shops selling funny t-shirts and sundries. The first big restaurant on the wharf clearly has a top-side place called "Longboard's Grill." I went that way thinking to settle for fish and chips when I noticed the lower floor of the same building said "Harbor".

Harbor is brightly lit during the day, the ocean side completely made of tall, picture windows. The restaurant is painted and decorated in classic white, accented with nautical blue, white linens on the tables, plain white and silver place settings, and on each table, a candle lit after sunset. There is also a table for 8 shaped like a sailboat complete with tall sails. We were seated at a window seat with a nice view of ocean and of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. The wait staff was professional in their uniform and demeanor. We ordered entrees (about $30 per), which were delivered in a very timely fashion.

Still, I did not expect to be wowed, which I was very much wowed. My seared tuna was served on a fried nest of potato, topped with wasabi mashed potatoes - the tuna was resting on top of the potatoes and topped with micro-greens. Around the potato nest, the plate had a bright, multicolor drizzle of three sauces, excellent presentation. The tuna steak was crusted with an amazing blend of spices and, inside, the tuna was so pink and fresh I used my table knife to cut it and could pull off bites with my fork. Also ordered at my table was a steamed rock cod fillet served next to vegetables and big noodles in a cream sauce. Now, I know of a recipe called, "poor man's lobster" using cod. When prepared correctly, it can be given that awesome seafood taste - but when I make it, it's more of a butter delivery system, but the rock cod at Harbor has that amazing wharf seafood taste that I'm sure was what inspired the "poor man's lobster" recipe. The creamy noodles were perfect. The gluten-free member of my party ordered "Stuffed Chicken" which was a chicken breast, very tender, stuffed with big, aromatic mushroom slices (not bread) in a brown mushroom sauce that was so delectable it would have been appropriate served beside a $50 filet mignon. The sides: colorful steamed veggies and a rosemary mash in which the rosemary was present but subdued, as it ought to be. Our waiter was familiar with gluten-free requests but double-checked with the chef and reassured us right away that the stuffed-chicken was an appropriate choice.

Incidentally, there appeared to be little if any dress code for the patrons, which makes sense for the setting. Have your casual day at the beach followed by exquisite food. Reading other reviews, there seems to be some hit-and-miss here but my sunset meal at Harbor was not just a hit but a home run.

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Thank dmpdsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

we had breakfast here, indoor or outdoor sitting nice food at an average price good friendly worth a visit

Thank WENDY S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

In an age when "casual" is in, even ripoff-expensive "casual", it's nice to have a lovely traditional restaurant with nicely set tables and courteous, non-intrusive servers whose names we'll never know and don't care to know, and excellent food at reasonable prices. I recommend it as a place to bring family or out-of-town visitors. And if you really want "casual", visit "Longboards" bar upstairs, where they serve excellent casual food and drink at very reasonable prices. Longboards also has a large open deck with fabulous views of the harbor and Santa Barbara. This is a restaurant our city can take pride in, and which will be here long after many of the "casuals" are gone.

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Thank billyboy53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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