Richard Schaeffer and Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori brought us the latest installment of Soho's cruise ship-themed restaurants, Harbour, just two weeks ago, but already the reviews are flooding in. It seems everyone likes the seafood, chowder and cocktails, but the dessert and red meat get mixed reviews. While the nautical decor confuses, repels and delights, there are so far no complaints about the service or prices. Here's the news as it stands today: good, bad, and everywhere in between.
The Mostly Ecstatic News: The blogger NYC Foodie loves the chowder and Artic char, but thinks the Black Forest Cake is just ok: "I started with the House Chowder ($8), which came with herbs and vegetables. After one spoonful I was in total shock. It was amazing. My mind had been blown...There was an amazing smokiness to it...For my entree I was served the Arctic Char ($23), which came with miso, grapefruit, and yuzu. It was a pretty dish, and again, after one bite, my mind was blown. It, too, was absolutely amazing. The fish was so perfectly cooked, it practically melted in my mouth -- it was like buttuh! The grapefruit, yuzu, and vegetables, perfectly complemented each other. What took this dish to another level, though, was the addition of salmon roe, which gave the dish a little saltiness to cut away from the citrus, and in my opinion is truly ingenious. It was an outstanding dish...For dessert I had Harbour's version of a Black Forest Cake ($8), which was fine, but not as mind-blowing as my previous courses." [NYC Foodie]
The Bad News: This commenter trashes the food and decor: "I don't really see what the hype is all about with this place. The steak isn't exactly terrible, but nothing to carry on about. Has a cruise vibe to it - not the ship kind but the looking-to-get-laid kind." [Martini Boys]
The OK News: This Chowhounder finds the food uneven, but raves about the service and cocktails: "The decor was odd, but interesting. Not surprisingly, the place has a nautical theme, so the dining room looks like the inside of a cruise ship, although the bar area felt more like a slightly upscale sports bar. The food was sophisticated albeit a little uneven. The clam chowder appetizer was flavorful, but very salty and I found it overwhelmingly rich and couldn't finish it, although my friends liked their tastes. The ceviche was lovely and the crudo was good as well. We all had fish entrees -- one friend really liked his dish, but we all agreed that the miso glaze on the Arctic Char was way, way too heavy. Once I scraped it off, however, the dish was good. Shared butterscotch pudding for desert was delicious, the cocktails were perfectly mixed and the wine recommendations were good as well. And I should note the servers were very attentive...overall we thought it was enjoyable, if inconsistent. Not sure if we'll go back for dinner, given the options available at that level, but would definitely go for cocktails -- the bartender is talented!" [CH]
The Mostly Good News: This Yelper is pleasantly surprised with everything but the hanger steak: "When I went to Harbour for its "soft opening" I expected it to be overpriced and underwhelming...I couldn't have been more wrong. The menu is simple and delicious and almost all well under $25 per dish. Standouts for me included: house chowder (good amount of chunk), butter clams, halibut with a harrissa sauce, cobia (kobe style) sashimi, pickled gulf shrimp, and cauliflower gratin. My friend ordered a hanger steak dish and it was not impressive. I think that sticking to the seafood is probably the way to go here, although since it JUST opened it is a bit too early to pass judgment I think... A great neighborhood staple. I'll be back for sure." [Yelp]
The Very Good News: One Eater commenter is wowed: "...the food -- including a sampling of appetizers, entrees, 4 of the sides, and two desserts -- was unique and very strong. The place will likely get the usual lame Momofuku comparisons due to the Korean influence, but the food is delicate and seafood-oriented vs. the more bold style of Mr. Chang. Service, especially for a new place, was spot-on, wine list was fairly priced, and mixed drinks were also good. I wish them the best and hope they don't need shilling to get people in the door." [Eater Comments]
The Meh News: This commenter isn't so impressed but chalks it up to opening kinks: "...ate at Harbour and it was ok. maybe we didn't order well, i can't say i loved anything i had. food took a while. our sides were barely warm. but it was early on, it's always a crapshoot when going early...the service is upscale and fussy - soup poured table-side, etc." [Eater Comments]
— Amber Benham