Last Wednesday the new Harbor Bar, 500 Harbor Blvd., in Weehawken opened its doors for the first time in grand style. The kick-off party drew a large crowd that happily munched on the delicious appetizers that were passed out by the attentive staff. This elegant bar and restaurant is owned by the same group that runs the Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels in Manhattan.
A tempting taste
Guests were treated to samples of the excellent cuisine in bite-sized portions. They indulged in the tasty grilled cheese balls (their regular menu offers classic macaroni and cheese) and toasted slivers of the “Cuban” sandwich, which had roasted pork, ham, gruyere and pickles.
Other excellent bites included: hot artichoke dip on toasted bread, tender grilled shrimp that was seasoned with a hint of garlic, delicious baked crab, and juicy skewered steak that had a dollop of seasoning.
In addition, there were stations set up inside the sprawling restaurant that served an array of gourmet cheeses with fresh fruit and a raw bar that offered clams on the half-shell and caviar on toast points.
We couldn’t pass up the delicious dessert station that had mini-portions of their regular desserts, like the warm cranberry upside down cake and the chocolate nut cake with rich chocolate filling nestled inside.
Elegant and inviting
The large lounge and dining area can seat up to 292 guests and also has a separate room for private events. It is a sophisticated room, with high-gloss dark tables and L-shaped bar that provide an excellent backdrop for the view, which can be seen from the large panoramic windows that face the harbor.
There are little details that make this establishment attractive and inviting, like the marble tables around the bar, the wide planks of oak on the floor, the contemporary ceiling fans, and the recessed lighting throughout the restaurant.
There are also mirrors throughout, so no matter where you are sitting, there is a stunning view of Manhattan reflecting back at you.
According to Tony Fant, President and COO of the Hartz Mountain Hospitality Division of the hotel chain, their idea was to bring a little of New York to Weehawken. “I think we will appeal to people who are looking for a different sort of nightlife,” said Fant. “It’s all about feeling comfortable and relaxing.”
Fant said that the lights are another element of the design. They are uniform throughout the room providing a flattering glow.
“There is plenty of light,” said Fant, “but where it feels sexy and sophisticated and everyone looks great.”
Food for any mood
The Brasserie was inspired by the cafés in France, where guests can relax during any time of the day and also get a bite to eat if one is hungry. The Harbor Bar will serve food all day including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, and just about anything in-between.
Breakfast features fresh baked pastries, fresh fruit, granola, espresso, coffee, tea, and more. One such item is their specialty grilled donut that is pressed and dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
In addition, hot breakfast items including eggs, pancakes and more are available to eat-in.
For lunch and later, the kitchen will serve simple yet satisfying cuisine that can respond to any craving including: fresh baked pizza, an omelet, a thick juicy hamburger, steak frites, mixed salads, homemade soups, sandwiches and much more.
The bar is full-service and includes specialty drinks, Martinis, and wine. According to Fant, guests are the real star of the place. Whether they are having a leisurely dinner or grabbing breakfast to go or looking to unwind after work, they can find it here.
The Harbor Bar & Brasserie is open every day. Reservations are recommended for large groups. For Thanksgiving, they will be open and are serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The kitchen is open all day and night from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday the hours are: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Harbor Bar & Brasserie is located at 500 Harbor Blvd. in Weehawken. For more information, call (201) 348-4444 or visit: www.harborbar.com.