Harry’s Bar Review: Planning a celebration meal for your visit to Whitby? Read our latest review of Harry’s Bar.
The latest in our series of Whitby restaurant reviews, here’s our Harry’s Bar Review. Enjoy!
Whitby is famed for many things; the Benedictine Abbey, Captain James Cook, and Jet jewellery to name but a few. Fresh seafood is a time honoured 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.
“The view from the upstairs dining room is stunning”
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.
The extensive menu is divided into sections; fish, meat, vegetarian, salad and side dishes and of course desserts. Our waiter, Del, 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 each of this delightful dish.
“The wild mushroom and chickpea risotto was deliciously moreish.”
If you like goats 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.
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.
There are two head chefs that work at Harry’s Bar; on the Thursday that we visited it was Chad running the kitchen. Del, our attentive and excellent waiter gave us the lowdown of the Whitby restaurant scene, with the reassurance that he takes his meals six out of seven days at Harry’s. A local recommendation from a man in the know.
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 hoi sin, 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 sweet potato wedges were reassuringly chunky”
The Waldorf style salad was a fine accompaniment to these courses striking a keen contrast to the weight 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.
At this point Del suggested a mocktail from Harry’s comprehensive selection, so we chose a couple of the outstanding and satisfyingly sweet; Pink Lemonade and Strawberry Kiss; these two bright and bold creations were great choices and were great friends of the dessert platter that came next.
By now we were quite happily sated and could have dozed off in an easy chair but in the interest of completeness and filing a proper review we HAD to take on the entire dessert tasting platter. For your benefit of course 😉
These six fabulous treats were presented on the obligatory black slate (for maximum showiness) 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 but if we’re talking about preference this is how it is.
Dip the shortbread into the posset, scoop the sorbet with the cheesecake, creme the caramel by itself; you can’t fail to enjoy this excellent dessert and the tasting platter saves the agony of having to make a rather difficult decision.
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 is 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.
Harry’s Bar Review 2017
Fancy a cocktail and a spot of tapas style dining while in Whitby?… then head to Harry’s Bar. Situated on Pier Road, bang in front of the fish market, Harry’s has become one of the most popular spots in Whitby. Frequented by both tourists and locals alike, Harry’s is a chic lounge bar and brasserie which offers fine dining in a relaxed seafront setting. This Harry’s Bar review should get your inspired to make a visit.
My Harry’s Bar Review
There is something unique about Harry’s Bar, the cozy atmosphere makes for a relaxed afternoon or evening. Whether you plan on enjoying some food or just sipping a drink after a long day walking around town, Harry’s Bar is a perfect fit. Harry’s is a mix of cafe, bar and restaurant and combines fantastic food with dazzling cocktails and fine wines, served up by well-trained bar staff.
What’s the food like?
The menu offers something a little different, with small tapas style (small starter size) dishes of seafood and meat favourites along with sharing platters and a selection of more filling main meals. I can thoroughly recommend the tapas style menu. When I visit with my partner, we always go for 4 or 5 dishes from the tapas menu and find this is perfect for 2 of us who wish to pick our way through an evening meal.
The food at Harry’s Bar is very good. I’ve never had a bad meal there in over 20 visits. Much of the food is locally sourced whenever possible, supporting the local fishing boats and farming communities around Whitby.
The prices are not too bad either and are in line with the other brasserie style bars and restaurants in Whitby. It’s not cheap, but you won’t need to remortgage your house either. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” is certainly true here.
If you’re after a relaxing meal with friends, go for a selection of the tapas style dishes and share between you. Moules Mariniere, Tiger Prawns, Pan Seared Queen Scallops, Baby Back Ribs, Sizzling Mini Fajitas and Teriyaki Medallions of Beef are all dishes I have tried and would recommend.
Do I need to book?
In the height of the season and during weekends booking is recommended. You will struggle to get a table on a Friday or Saturday evening without booking in advance.
What about the drinks?
Something for 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.
Try the Mojito cocktails.
Can I just come in for a drink?
Yes, please do. Harry’s is a bar, cafe and restaurant and welcomes those who just wish to pop in to quench their thirst.
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.
What’s the atmosphere like?
Relaxed, cool, vibrant. The central location means that Harry’s is nearly always busy, day and night. This makes for a pleasant atmosphere. Friday and Saturday evenings can be very busy, in both the restaurant and bar area but this adds to the atmosphere. If you’re after a quieter evening, this visit during the week or on a Sunday evening, although during the holidays it will be busy throughout the week.
Accommodation at Harry’s
Harry’s Bar also offers boutique Whitby accommodation. They offer 4 luxurious rooms; Moet, Bollinger, Bellini & Martini, with some providing stunning views of Whitby harbour. You can now check availability and pricing online by clicking here
My overall Harry’s Bar review
One of my favourite places to eat and drink in Whitby, Harry’s bar is a cool place which offers great food in a fantastic location. The tapas style starting plates are ideal for a casual evening with friends and family. The cocktails are lovely and sitting outside during the summer months is a great way to soak up the special Whitby ambience.
Tel: 01947 601909
Address: 10-11 Pier Rd, Whitby YO21 3PU
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