Harbour Sixty (New Review) -
- Rabbit May 27, 2007 07:43 AM
Rabbitz (with Rabbit-sister) had dinner at Harbour Sixty on Saturday night.
Made an 8:00 reservation on Thursday, and were told that we had the "last table." Restaurant was indeed packed (and with all types... interesting crowd), but seemed not at all taxed or compromised by its own busy-ness. Service was flawless.
We arrived early and started with cocktails at the bar - a Manhattan, a Raspberry martini, and a glass of Niagara rose. Bartending (actually all service) at Habour Sixty was absolutely top-notch... refined, attentive and friendly but not overbearing. Cocktails were lovely, expertly prepared, and with generous pours. Rabbit-sister even enjoyed a champagne top-op on her fruity martini at the suggestion of the bartender. Said cocktails were put back while picking at generous spread of bar snacks (we've reported on this before)... bacon strips, a little plate of fruit, cheese and ham, olives and pickles-on-sticks.
We moved over to the dining room and picked at the bread basket (fab raisin and nut bread, French bread and focaccia) along with a tray of olives, sweet peppers and marinated feta, while deciphering the menu and encyclopedic wine list.
I started with a shrimp cocktail (I know, so 80’s, but obscenely fat shrimp with traditional sauce was gorgeous). Mr. Rabbit’s smoked salmon, served with the usual trappings, was also excellent. And the Rabbit-sister had a spinach salad with blue cheese and walnuts (pears too?). The blue cheese was exceptionally creamy and lovely, and the salad itself was quite enormous.
(Note: table-neighbours had a “seafood tower” to start, which was breathtaking... cannot imagine what the "for two" version of this would look like??)
For mains, Mr. Rabbit had the lamb chops, served with a potato pancake, which he reported to be quite perfect. My own 10oz filet (ordered blue rare) was similarly exquisite, and the same can be said of the Rabbit-sister's NY steak. We ordered sugar snap peas (glistening, crunchy and gorgeous), along with onion rings (not too greasy, flavourful batter, total guilty pleasure) on the side. All of this went down with a big, red Cal-Ital (Mr. Rabbit wine-picked, sorry I don't have particulars). Wine mark-ups are more-than-standard here, but wine list is astonishing, and the bottle we had was very enjoyable although admittedly on the “low end” of a list on which bottles sometimes well exceed $1000.
Moving along to dessert, we split a coconut cream pie, which was over-the-top great, and Fred Flintstone in proportion…. also cheesecake, another generous serving, presented with strawberry sauce. Rich, dense and exactly what you'd expect - totally satisfying. The one let down was Mr. Rabbit's rum raisin ice cream. The ice cream appeared on the menu as a "side" to the banana crepes, but Mr. Rabbit wanted only the ice cream. They gave him one little scoop, and charged him for the whole dessert. Next to the grandeur of the rest of the food, this little lone scoop of rum raisin was a little comedic – it just seemed so small and sad. (Note that we don’t care about the money, but of course would have just gone for the whole dessert, in hindsight - or skipped it)
So, cheque (with tip) was approx $500 (not counting pre-dinner drinks (about $65 with tip). Great old-world, traditional environment, charming and expert service, and absolutely perfect food. The only possible downside of Harbour Sixty is, for the adventurous eater, there will be no surprises. But if you want a perfect steak dinner in Toronto, I can’t imagine a better pick.
Breathtaking in a good way...
The seafood tower is an appetizer on H60's menu, and apparently it can be ordered for one or for two. We didn't know the couple next to us, but the presentation was impressive enough that when the waiter brought out their starter, both of our tables paused. That's when our fellow diner remarked - "and this is the "for one" version!" Platter seemed to have shrimp, crab, perhaps some shellfish (oysters??)... I was trying not to gawk. And note that all of the seafood at H60 is the fat, luscious variety... we're not talking Loblaws shrimp ring crustaceans.
It was quite a lot of food, verging on the ridiculous - I would have to think it would be "too much" for one person. But all the portions at Harbour 60 are very (too?) generous. A good number of diners take home "doggie bags," which come packaged in "Harbour Sixty" shopping bags reminiscent of the bags at Holt Renfrew or some such place (except black, of course... not pink!!).
If I remember correctly the seafood tower consists of lobster, stone crab claws ( in season --otherwise King crab), oysters, blue crab salad and shrimp. They will galdly substitute items on request. A variety of sauces and garnishes are also provided. Not inexpensive but great value. The platter for 2 will feed 4 quite generously as an appetizer.
I went to H60 twice last week. I had the seafood tower for 1 px for lunch. There are 3 oysters, 2 JUMBO shrimps, half lobster, blue crab salad & 1 pc. alaska king crab. Our waiter suggested us to order 1px portion for 2 px to share. We order also the charred beef carpaccio, mushroom soup & coconut cream pie. The portions are generous. Every dish is delicious. We are full just with 3 appetizers & 1 dessert.
I also went to have a drink at the bar & was feed with freebies as mentioned by Rabbit. I tried also 2 appetizers: pan fried soft shell crab on a angel hair nest & tuna tarter. Both dishes are excellent. Service was top notch too.
Definitely a place to go when you want to pamper yourself.