Wow. This was a major disappointment. Harry's was recommended by our hotel for an anniversary dinner. The bellinis were good, the food was fine, but definitely not worth the price. There are many restaurants that are better at half the price!
Hairy is right, the food had what looked to be pubic hair all over the place there were rat pellets in my food my gay witch for abortion boyfriend pulled out a piece of hair over 8 inches long. The bathrooms were a mess there looked to be urine streaks and various gang symbols on the walls. Somebody had deficated in the corner of the bathroom and there were smears on the walls. The whole place smelled like a dead animal on the side of the road and the waiters/waitresses looked like they had been drunk and vomited on themselves. The food tasted like wet anus and was under cooked. Never again will I go back to this HAIRY restaurant.
The Bellinis were terrific, especilly the third !!! and served by excellent barmen with a sense of humour.
The restaurant was......expensive. Carpaccio OK, Scampi overcooked and tasteless like a relic from the 1970's. Fish soup and Entrecote "historic".
The really weird people watching part was the number of older women all with the same "wind tunnel " expression face jobs. It takes all sorts.
My wife and I were both looking forward to Harry's Bar while we were in Venice, my wife because Giada from the Food Network cable channel went there and drank Belini's and myself because what American man doesn't want to follow in the steps of Hemmingway (right until the last step to pick up the shotgun at least). Much to our dismay I was not allowed into the bar because I was wearing shorts. A server approached me as we walked in and said "Men should wear long pants to come in here, I'm sorry you must leave". I had no objection to their policy, I just wish I had known that prior so I could have prepared. Women are allowed to wear shorts if they'd like.
The best way to describe the interior of Harry's Bar is that it reminds you of a working mans club. Small room with bare walls and reproduction prints complete with seats hugging the walls all the way round. To be fair, a working mans club would have more atmosphere and interesting people.
Any ambience the place might once have possessed has long gone. We glanced around the room to see stunned faces, all thinking the same as us "Why on earth have we paid £20.00 for two drinks to sit in here"?
This may have been a haunt for the rich and famous in the past, but you wouldn't find them in here now!! They're all well aware of what a hyped up tourist attraction this is.
Bellini - sweet, pink and mildy fizzy - think alcopop. Give this place a miss.
We were coming to the end of a busy day, and tried to go up the Campanile - but it was closed - so we decided to go and have a relaxing quiet drink somewhere.
My tourist book highlighted that Harry's Bar was a famous watering hole of Ernest Hemmingway, so we headed towards it..
As the windows are glazed, we could not see inside, so we were shocked when we walked in and discovered that it was quite small and serviced by waiters in white jackets, one of which directed us to a table (with our wooly hats and big bags).
We knew it would not be cheap, but not that expensive! As we looked through the cocktail menu and took our hats off - to show fabulous hat hair - we noticed the Bellini....
Favorite Dish: The Bellini - A cocktail created in Harry's Bar by Giuseppi Cipriani
This was lovely.. just what we wanted - Peach nectar and Prosecco sparkling wine.
To know that it was created where we were sat was a brilliant feeling and made it taste even better...
And, the fact that I would have to be grateful considering it cost 14 Euros each!!
Suffice to say - we didn't eat there!!
The first time I went to Harry's Bar in 2002, I ordered a beer!!. "Sorry Madame, Harry's Bar doesn't serve beer". ( I quickly got the message). So I ordered a Daiquari (excuse spelling) as that's what Hemmingway used to drink and it was because of Hemmingway I called into Harry's Bar. I loved the simplicity and the buzz. I returned there on 3 other occasions. I think it's worth every penny. Comfort, service and always someone ecentric to watch. I saw an American man outside once taking off his shorts and putting on a pair of trousers as he arrived in shorts but wasn't admitted so he went off and got a pair of long trousers. On another occasion, I was going in and met an American woman and teenage daughter or niece coming out and she muttered "never paid so much for a drink I didn't like". My advice - go, have a drink and make up your own mind. Also you can now buy the book on the story of Harry's Bar in english and Italian.
Inspiration for Bellini Travel born here.
Are you sitting next to a celebrity?
Fortified by a Bellini cocktail or two and
a plate of heavenly tagliolini verdi con
prosciutto e piselli you probably won't
care. Frequented by a host of famous
foreigners from Hemingway onwards.
It is a fantastic restaurant.
I went to Harry's Bar to specifically try the Bellini as this was recommended on VT. I was not impressed. I paid 14Euro to sit at the bar and have an 8oz drink that was not very good. I did decide to try another Bellini at a different place and it cost 2.50Euro and was a lot better in quality and in service!
Favorite Dish: NONE. I decided not to try any of the food as it cost way too much for the amount food I saw served. And from the expressions on peoples faces I would say the food was not all that impressive either.
We just couldn't come to Venice without having drinks in Harry's Bar. It was a classic moment with my husband and parents. An expensive moment, too. Two irish coffees, a Bellini, and a glass of wine set us back over 60Euros. But we'd do it again for the experience.
If you happen to go to Harry's Bar, go straight to the bar and order the World's Best Bellini (peach & champagne). Don't sit to eat, though. My friend and I did and spent over $50 each on a club sandwich (the cheapest thing on the menu!). Although, it was the best club sandwich I've ever eaten... but $50?
Favorite Dish: Bellini
We generally don't frequent "World Famous Restaurants". Having read an article in Saveur Magazine we thought we would take a shot.
I can't say that this is a horrible restaurant, but it's designed to milk every cent out of the eager tourist.
Food quality and presentations were right out of the 1950's. If you're going to charge $25 for Carpaccio the appetizer ,at least put it on a large chilled plate (not b&b size) with some garnish.
Had one of the Bellinis ($11) in the bar. It was presented in a 6 ounce juice glass. Tasty, but not particularly cold.
Service was uneven, slow at first even though the restaurant was not full. The entree was delivered before we finished half of our appetizers. We requested a window table but were told that they were not available. They were not occupied during our dinner. We were quite close to the kitchen door.
Waiters were pleasant and fun (bartender was a bit snobby).
The total bill for dinner (not including the Bellinis in the bar), was $239. 2 courses per person plus 2 beers.
Favorite Dish: The Scampi was flavorful, but again poorly presented and stingy with the shrimp. Overall the food was not memorable.
The only way i can describe Harry's is COOOOOOL. The food is awesome and the dinks are fantastic. The barman is an alchemist of the best kind.
Favorite Dish: You must try the Pim's and Lemonade.
The sauteed liver is good too.
Who knows if Harry's bar even serves food, but the Bellini's are to die for. A definite must for fans of Hemingway to visit this bar.
Gentlemen: no shorts are allowed in Harry's, the staff will ask you to leave.
It is kind of obsurely located so keep your eyes peeled.
Favorite Dish: A british/american style bar their claim to fame is the Bellini.
A Bellini is white peach nectar and prosecco. It is simply delicious but at 13 euro a piece it is an expensive treat but well worth it.
There are many great restaurants in Venice. But none can compare with HARRY'S BAR. For Harry's Bar is the birthplace of the Bellini drink and the delicious (and much-copied) Carpaccio dish!
For the absolutely clueless, the Bellini drink consists of a mixture of white peach juice and sparkling prosecco, named after the fifteenth-century Venetian painter - Giovanni Bellini.
The Carpaccio is a plate of trimmed sirloin sliced wafer thin beef - dressed with a Jackson Pollock spray of mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice. It was specially concocted for an Italian Contessa (Countess) who was on a diet and I believe, anti-cooked meat. ;-) Like the Bellini, the Carpaccio dish was named after an Italian painter, Vittore Carpaccio.
Back to this legendary restaurant: Famous past diners include Ernest Hemingway (American writer), Maria Callas & Aristotle Onassis, Orson Welles, Aga Khan, Nicole Kidman and Helen Hunt amongst others.
And now, follow me up to the 2nd level for dinner.... (the ground floor is where the Bar is located).
Favorite Dish: If you come to Harry's Bar for dinner, you must be prepared to pay through your nose. The very first time we visited the restaurant (in the mid-1990s) with my girlfriends, they almost threw me into the lagoon when they saw the prices in the menu. But it was too late... so we had no choice but to go ahead and order some dishes. Fortunately for us, and being women, the waiter kinda believed us when we groaned that we were actually on a very strict diet. So, at the time, we ordered only soup and dessert. It wasn't cheap but I survived my girlfriends' wrath and lived to tell this story! ;-)
My most recent visit to Harry's Bar was in the summer of 2001. This time, a lovely guy paid for the entire meal. And so, I truly enjoyed this meal!
Harry's Bar Minestrone Soup is molto bello. No wonder. Be prepared to fork out almost EUR 20.00 for the soup. Not joking.
My favorite Scampi all'Armoricaine (remember, I always order this dish) costs slightly over EUR 50.00 per dish. The must-try Carpaccio alla Cipriani dish which I shared with the guy I was with - cost approx. EUR 50.00.
If you have a full course meal (soup, antipasti, main dish, dessert, coffee, bellini) - expect to pay approx. EUR 180.00 (minimum) PER PERSON. If you drink wine... it'll cost more naturally.
Don't panic. I know the cost of a humble meal here can bankrupt a normal person.... So, come only for dinner to celebrate big events like birth of baby, engagement, weddings etc.
Because Harry's Bar boasts of an international clientele (including Asians - like the Japanese and Chinese), their Daily Menu comes with the exchange rate for 9 major currencies!!
Inspite of all these little signs that this restaurant is not going to be a cheap place to dine in, tourists and foreigners still throng to Harry's Bar whenever they come to Venice!