harry's tap room
visited this locale last weekend for a long awaited dinner with a friend. i chose this place because i had visited it back in 2003 for brunch and was quite pleased. sadly, i was disappointed this time around and will not recommend this place to anyone. first of all, the service was VERY SLOW - we waited for about 15 minutes after we were seated to order our drinks (but we had to ask another waiter to send our server our way first). then when we ordered our meals we advised our server that we would be splitting the meal - after we were served the dish - we reminded her that we needed another plate, and she took another 15 minutes to bring us the other one. well, the tenderloin was cold by then. my friend and i dine frequently in downtown dc and arlington and have had many pleasant experiences, to include cheff geoff's, lauriol plaza, oceanaire and old ebbitt's. we advised the host after our dinner of our unpleasant experience, he pretty much waved us away like we were gnats - we have no problem spending our hard-earned dollars at great places, needless to say we will no longer be spending or money at harry's and will advise our friends to stay away as well...
Similar AWFUL experience in January at the Clarendon location. Service was terrible, the waiter had BO, took forever to get food, drinks. We had 4 orders of twin filets, all medium. 2 were prepared fine, and the other 2 were basically raw. The mashed potatoes were ice cold. I could go on & on. There was nothing good about this meal, including the attitude of the manager, and for the prices... need I say more? STAY AWAY. Tried to write to management over their internet website... guess what, the email address bounced. I'm thinking there's a pattern here...
Harry's is now sort of like an upscale tile showroom that serves drinks as an afterthought. They used to have a decent little happy hour with a barroom tapas menu (great little burgers, mini cheese plates, etc.). On my last visit (with some friends after a funeral at Arlington Cemetery) we found the prevailing attitude of the bar staff so obnoxious that we were faced with two choices; get the hell out or start breaking furniture. We wound up at the Quarterdeck, where we probably should've gone in the first place.
Bizarre service experience there recently: We're usually the last people in the world to ask for substitutions, but my wife saw that Harry's offers a salad with steak, and she didn't think it would be too much to ask that the same steak be placed on the Caesar salad rather than the other salad.
The waitress (the same one who brought me some sort of white zinfandel after I asked, by brand name, while pointing at the menu, for a real zinfandel that was listed) answered instantly with a firm and unapologetic "NO." (Tell ya what: Blindfold the chef and I'll walk back myself and switch the bowls ...)
I have had many great nights at Harry's. In fact, it is a great place for a date especially when seated, on the second floor, overlooking Clarendon Blvd. MM
I stopped by this place about a year ago on a Saturday around 2pm. The place was packed. The hostess said the wait was about half an hour (which in hostess-speak means about an hour). Turned around a left and haven't been back. With all the new condo development in the neighborhood, I can only imagine that the crowds have increased. And with a dedicated funding stream, there's really no motivation to improve the quality of their food or service. I guess people are used to Cheesecake Factory-esque waits.