Specific information needed re: Harry's Bar, Venice
I'm sure many CHOW-hounds can help me here since this place is so famous :)
I feel the need to go to Harry's Bar just for the history of it... But have no desire to eat a full meal there and pay a billion dollars (sorry, meant Euro). Is it possible to go there, sit at the bar and just have an overpriced Bellini and possibly a sandwich? I don't know the layout of the place, can you sit at the bar as opposed to getting a table? Obviously the name sounds like it is a bar but from the reviews I have read on CHOW and other places it sounds more like a quite fancy restaurant. Also, what is the dress code?
On December 31, 1997, I celebrated New Year's Eve at Harry's Bar. It was like a scene out of a Fellini movie, but it is high up in the ratings of the most memorable experiences of my life; also costly - I believe the tab for two of us was $800, of course, the meal was prix-fixe, with, I believe, only two choices for each course. But the dinner was divine, but now I don't remember what we had, although we did have a bottle of champagne, and perhaps an aperitif each.
The only seating was downstairs; the room is smallish, so there weren't that many party-goers. At midnight, the lights were turned out to signal the New Year of 1998. We all received two gifts, not one. The men were in dinner jackets, and the women, dressed and bejeweled to the nth degree.
Previous to that night, I had first been to Harry's in 1968 for lunch. I went for dinner on two other Venice visits - we were sent upstairs to eat!
I realize I'm reporting quite after-the-fact, but for anybody needing this now, I will give my personal report of Harry's Bar. We honeymooned in Venice 3 years ago. The whole city is grand and lovely, but one of the high points was going to Harry's Bar. We went there twice in fact. I think the bellini was $14 ... and we gladly paid for this little spot of heaven. I wore a colorful, nice but simple floral print shift and my husband wore nice slacks and a jacket. We were treated very well. (I was glad that I had taken a little time to put my hair up - just felt a little more glamorous.) You will definitely have a little more fun if you dress it up a bit - the famous barmaster behind the counter may even give you a sly Italian half-wink ...!
The Croque Monsieur at Harry's Bar will spoil you for any other version. As others have stated, yes you certainly can sit at the bar, order a sandwich and Bellini, if you wish. Prosecco w/ the CM is heaven. I also fondly remember the gnocchi and you cannot go wrong with any version of risotto. Each is perfect in its own way.
Ya gotta do it at least once, right?
That being said, my wife and I had two bellini each, and shared a carpacio. I want to say we walked out after tip having paid something like 140 euro.??? It was more than I expected, and I already had an expectation for it to be overpriced.
We loved it, but need to go back except maybe for a single bellini.
Sure, you can sit at the bar there and have a drink or a coffee. I am pretty sure you can order a sandwich at the bar, too. Sometimes I've been offered a little sample of risotto or dessert at the bar.
It can get quite crowded at the bar as the evening progresses but if you go in the afternoon or early evening you should be able to score a seat.
Don't wear shorts to Harry's but I have gone there in jeans on more than one occasion (in the bar - not sure if that is acceptable in the dining room - probably not.)
I usually order Prosecco there. It is only 7 or 8 Euro (Bellinis are 16 or something.) They also have excellent hot chocolate.. yum.