Carol Deptolla's Top 30 Restaurants 2016
Milwaukee has precious few restaurants where seafood is the focus; one of them is Harbor House, where the quality of the fish is excellent. Operated by the Bartolotta group in partnership with Michael Cudahy, it has a stunning view of the lakefront. Chef Andrew Fisher, who took over the kitchen this year, has been putting his touch on some of the dishes. A welcome new plate is lemon sole stuffed with crab, served over pea puree with a carrot salad and slices of fingerling potato.
- Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Food Critic
Carol Deptolla's top 30 Restaurants 2015
Why go here: The view of the shoreline and Lake Michigan is magnificent at seafood restaurant Harbor House, a Michael Cudahy-Bartolotta Restaurants production. The dining room, a little swanky, suggests a big night out. Count on chef Zach Espinosa to deliver the best-quality fish, expertly prepared.
What to order: Simple preparations let the fish shine. Try tilefish with pinenut gremolata and buttery mashed cauliflower; seek out specials for more seasonal offerings. Fish entrées hover near and dart above $30, but a diner could enjoy the same million-dollar view with plump fried clams and french fries at $12.50.
What you’re drinking: The wine list is where Harbor House shines, with ample whites to go with seafood but also a good selection of reds to go with heartier fish and the steaks on the menu.
Carol Deptolla's Top 30 Restaurants 2014
"'Hmm,' I sometimes think when I leave a new restaurant after a few visits, 'this one could be a contender for Top 30.'
I thought that a lot in the past year, struck so often by a restaurant crew's forward thinking and devotion to their craft.
I'm looking, first and foremost, for well-executed food that delights me. A menu that's original or one that honors tradition makes me take notice, as does technique that's sharp. The food has to be so special that it makes me want to return (often, I wanted to go back the very next night). But I'm also looking for a memorable experience overall. That means service should be welcoming and competent, at a minimum, although many servers go above and beyond."
Carol Deptolla's Top 30 Restaurants 2013
"Restaurants continue to step up their game, composing thoughtful dishes, using more ingredients in season, preserving foods and making more components from scratch. It's awfully gratifying to be in the diner's seat these days.
(At Harbor House), Chef Zachary Espinosa's food is a sure thing at this Bartolotta group-Michael Cudahy seafood restaurant at the lakefront. Whole roasted branzino actually could be a dinner for two; it's a very nice, crisp-skinned fish stuffed with herbs and served with roasted potatoes and Anaheim peppers.
Be sure to check out the specials here; there are a lot of interesting fish in the sea, and a number of them end up at Harbor House."
Read more about the 2013 Top 30 at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Milwaukee's Best Seafood 2010 - 2017
For the seventh year in a row, Harbor House continues to be the crown jewel of Milwaukee's seafood ocean. The elegant eatery provides a stunning view of Lake Michigan to accompany their beloved lobster rolls, salmon and Maine lobster. It's no surprise that voters picked the waterfront restaurant once again.
Located at 550 N. Harbor Dr., just off Lake Michigan, Harbor House was the clear favorite for the readers – nearly doubling up the second place finisher Maxie's in total votes. The battle between Maxie's and the St. Paul Fish Company, however, was really tight, as the two were separated by mere percentage points.
From start to finish, lovers of fish and shellfish can satisfy their palates, beginning with appetizers like Maryland crab cake and steamed mussels to the interesting and delectable combo Crustacean Bisque – which is lobster, crab and cream. The entrée list isn't overwhelming, but you have options – pick from seven fresh fish dishes and six shellfish choices, or combine items with a filet mignon.
Highlights include whole roasted branzino, cioppino, Creole shrimp and Maine lobster, along Alaskan king crab legs, grilled yellowfin tuna. And don't forget lunch! If you're looking for a sandwich, go for the great lakes perch or Maine lobster roll.
See the full results on OnMilwaukee.com.
Milwaukee's Best Patio View 2009 - 2017
The lake on one side and the city's evolving skyline on the other, with the Milwaukee Art Museum next door, it all makes the view from Harbor House quite unbeatable. And OnMilwaukee readers obviously agree
Harbor House has a raw bar featuring oysters, clams, shrimp and more. Appetizers from the sea include fried clams, salmon rillettes, steamed mussels, crab cakes, fried popcorn shrimp, scallops, calamari and fried oysters. Seafood soups like New England clam chowder and crustacean bisque along with multiple seafood salads are also on the menu.
Harbor House's seafood dinner choices are plentiful, including grilled Atlantic swordfish, Idaho trout almondine, Madagascar prawns, linguini and clams and a variety of combo plates featuring filet mignon and a seafood item.
See all the results on OnMilwaukee.com.
Opentable's Best Scenic View Restaurant 2014
As voted by OpenTable Diners
The United States boasts beautiful scenery from Coast to Coast. Fortunately for you, OpenTable restaurants are located at some of our country’s most breathtaking spots. We determined the list of honorees after analyzing more than five million reviews of nearly 19,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners. See more on OpenTable.com.
The Culture TRip: 10 Local Restaurants You Should Try
“From its infamous Bloody Mary Burgers to dining in the only Harley-Davidson Museum in the world, Milwaukee has a thriving dining scene which combines high-quality food with surprising decors and settings.
Part of the renowned Bartolotta restaurants, Harbor House was recognized as Milwaukee’s ‘best view’ and seafood restaurant on numerous occasions. …Thanks to its stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city, Harbor House is understandably one of their most popular ventures. Set in a New England-style interior with attentive service and reasonable prices, the menu showcases excellent fish and seafood dishes, but the steaks are not to be missed either.”
Read more on The Culture Trip.