We were invited to try Harry's Bar, an offer we could not refuse! Here's what we thought…
Fresh seafood is a Whitby tradition and is best represented in its many fish and chip shops dotted throughout the town. There is one Whitby restaurant however that is carving out its very own tradition and reputation for delicious international Tapas. Located in the heart of Pier Road at the Harbourside of the West Cliff, we are of course speaking of Harry’s Lounge and Bar.
Serving up small plates of a wide variety of flavours from around the world, Harry’s has broken from the traditional fish and chips cafe style dining found in much of the town, to present a cosmopolitan look, feel and taste in the heart of the North Yorkshire Coast.
Take a seat either out front in the sunshine to enjoy a coffee and people-watch the Harbourside crowds, at the bar for a brisk lunch or upstairs for an intimate evening meal with stunning views of the Abbey, St Mary’s Church and Henrietta Street.
There is something here to suit everyone. Harry's Bar serves everything from fine champagne, beers, ales, wines and spirits to lush cocktails which are expertly made by the bar staff. They serve a selection of soft drinks along with coffees and tea.
The wine list is extensive enough and should cater for everyone's needs. You can enjoy a drink in the downstairs bar or outside on the seating provided. The seating area outside is perfect for those late summer evenings, I've spent many hours watching the world go by, listening to the sound of the seagulls while sipping on an ice-cold Peroni. Patio heaters and blankets are also provided if there is a chill in the air.
The extensive menu is divided into sections; fish, meat, vegetarian, salad and side dishes and of course desserts. Our waiter was extremely helpful and steered us towards house specials as well as his own personal favourites. The menu recommends four to five small plates per diner; we would agree with these guidelines for those with a hearty appetite – adjust as required!
For our first round of plates, we had ‘Harry’s Famous Chowder’, Caramelised Goats Cheese, and Risotto of the day, which when we visited was wild mushroom and chickpea. The standout dish of these for us was the risotto – the rich meaty mushrooms and the chunky wholesome chickpeas combined to give this dish a hearty proportion and moreish flavour. We could happily have had a large plate of this delightful dish.
Harry’s Famous Chowder was a unique take on this coastal classic. Billed as ‘New York style with seafood, sweetcorn and tons of flavour’, this signature dish certainly lived up to its Big Apple hype. Generously portioned with salmon, haddock and prawns the sweet tangy broth demanded to be dipped with bread and polished off to the last mouthful.
If you like goat's cheese, you’ll love the caramelised orb dished up at Harry’s. Served on a bed of poached beetroot salad which offers a sweet tangy contrast to the creaminess of the cheese. The basil and walnut pesto brings this dish together nicely with a well-balanced palate of tastes and textures.
Our second sitting consisted of Thai Green Fish Curry, Ginger and Garlic Pork Ribs, Sweet Potato Wedges and a Waldorf style salad. The double highlight here were the reassuringly chunky wedges and the thick and juicy ribs. The zingy hoisin, ginger and garlic sticky sauce was an absolute triumph of classic Chinese flavours, the succulent flesh fell from the bone and melted in the mouth.
The Waldorf style salad was a fine accompaniment to these courses striking a keen contrast to the weight of the meat course and giving space to the fish curry in the shape of sharp apple refreshment. Walnut halves and blue cheese set this dish up to stand on its own with the occasional sweet potato wedge making a bold cameo in amongst the green leaves of the salad.
For dessert, six fabulous treats were presented on black slate and were of the size and sweetness of the best summertime dreams; Creme Caramel, Cookie Dough & Chocolate Brownie, Sticky Toffee & Apple Crumble; topped with vanilla ice cream, Sorbet, Cheesecake of the Day, Lemon & Raspberry Posset; with a mini shortbread biscuit.
As a lover of sweet things, this selection of goodies was a pleasure to behold. The highlight was surely the cookie dough and chocolate brownie, closely followed by the sticky toffee and apple crumble – this was a surprise champion with a curiously brilliant combination of flavours and textures. Of course, the others were excellent too.
Whitby may have a long history of serving up quality fish and chips and Harry’s Bar is no exception in this respect. Authentic fish and chips are served on the lunch menu, but Harry’s Bar is setting the standard for British influenced Tapas style dining in Whitby. The quality of the ingredients speaks for itself; the staff are professional and charming, and the menu is International yet familiar. Visit Harry’s for an experience that you simply won’t find anywhere else in Whitby.
They also offer accommodation: Click here to check availability and book online
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