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

Harbor House
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Ranked #8 of 1,485 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $52
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Scenic view, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Harbor Dr & N Lincoln Memorial Dr
Description: Harbor House is a bright, spacious New England-style seafood restaurant Milwaukee residents and visitors love, set on the shore of Lake Michigan. The restaurant is a result of a partnership between local businessman and philanthropist Michael Cudahy and The Bartolotta Restaurants. After opening in 2010, Harbor House quickly rose to become one of the city's top restaurants. Harbor House offers a premier lakefront dining experience and the freshest seafood flown in daily from both coasts. The interior features a three-sided bar, a raw bar, an open kitchen and a private dining room available for special events and parties. An outdoor patio features a full bar, Adirondack chairs and unparalleled views of the lake, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Milwaukee's skyline.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
73 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Always nice”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank Mansum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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719 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    395
    204
    75
    35
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
246 reviews
159 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“So so and not worth the money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ODtravelers
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!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
119 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting for a meal and great service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 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
Helpful?
Thank bcmufam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Disappointing for a Bartolotta restaurant”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank eaburns
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
Level Contributor
125 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Wish the review could be better but...”
3 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank maybepat1
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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