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Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011

Harry's Bar & Grill Still Shines in Shorewood

Outdoor terrace adds new touch to longtime favorite

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Harry's Bar & Grill is one of the few real bars in Shorewood, a place where you can feel comfortable drinking a beer and watching a baseball game on the flat-panel TVs. But Harry's also is very much a restaurant, with an international bistro approach and fare that includes fish tacos, hummus, steak frites and pastas.

Harry's is part of the NStars restaurant group that also operates NSB Bar & Grill and The Knick. A long bar dominates the main dining room, but there is still plenty of table seating. The recently added outdoor terrace makes for a fine amenity. Constructed of stone with iron railings and plenty of greenery, this is a nice spot for Harry's Sunday brunch.

The menu revolves around appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Ten entrees are offered after 5 p.m.

This is the season for salads, and the grilled flank steak salad ($14) does not disappoint. It is a grilled halved head of romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes and slices of peeled cucumber. Romaine, when grilled, takes on an appealing flavor. The meat comes in thick slices and the creamy dressing includes plentiful crumbles of blue cheese.

Instead of appearing on the menu, the soups are listed with the daily specials. A bowl of gazpacho ($5.50) has Andalusian touches, as chopped cucumber, bell pepper and red onion top rich, chilled tomato puree. Nontraditional elements include tortilla strips that also top the soup and a hot pepper kick that spikes the broth. This is one of the best gazpachos found locally.

The bar is a pleasant place to enjoy a few appetizers. A novel option is Thai chicken tacos ($10), a serving of three with corn hard shells placed in a red plastic stand on a plate. The tacos are simple, with bits of chicken and shredded lettuce. Add one of the three sauces that accompany: sweet chili, soy chili and ginger plum. The first is sugary with a hint of spice, the second is like a potsticker sauce, and the last has hints of fruit.

Burgers are very popular here. The Big Kahuna ($12) is topped with cheddar cheese, top-quality slices of meaty bacon and caramelized onions. I like it better without the sour cream. This is what a good burger should be, and it is cooked to order. For a side, opt for the frites.

Some appealing entrees are served after 5 p.m. Among them are triple-seared beef short ribs ($18), wild mushroom ravioli ($17) and a duo of salmon ($18)—one is sesame pan-seared and the other is prepared with a miso soy glaze. They should also be offered for lunch.

Sunday brunch has fare like eggs Benedict, omelets and quiche, as well as a few sandwiches. The wine list is not large, but it includes choices from all over the globe. The impressive beer list includes a custom-brewed product from Sprecher.

Harry's continues to be a reliable choice, with good service and generous portions. Stop in and enjoy the new outdoor terrace.

Harry's Bar & Grill

3549 N. Oakland Ave.

(414) 964-6800

$$$

Credit Cards: MC, VS, AX

Handicap Accessible

harrysbarandgrillmilwaukee.com

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