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“Great Service & Food, Even on Busy Mother's Day”

Harbor Grill Restaurant
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Ranked #6 of 146 Restaurants in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$40
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Dana Point Harbor Drive
Description: You'll always enjoy the finest in seafood dining at the Harbor Grill Restaurant. We specialize in fresh, regional seafood cuisine, fine steaks and fresh oysters. To help ensure the mood is set just right, this is your opportunity to relax in the warm comfort of attentive service with your choice of eclectic wines and refreshing cocktails. For more than 33 years, John, Wanda and Keegan Hicks have been committed to providing the best, high quality seafood and steaks in Dana Point. You can watch our Chef prepare your favorite dish over our mesquite wood grill. Our innovative and unique menu allows you to enhance your meal with our selection of vibrant salsas, chutneys or spice rubs. Escape from the ordinary and feast upon our Pacific, New England and Cajun renditions of your favorite seafood and enjoy your choice of our rich sauces and flavorful broths which reflect the finest influences of Latin American, Asian and Indian cuisine. And remember, every Thursday is our special Oyster Day! Once you've enjoyed a great meal, get ready for dessert. Our Harbor Grill carrot cake is a legendary favorite with locals and guests. Equally tantalizing is our delicious, made fresh daily, Chocolate Blackout Cake, Mocha Mud Pie and the unforgettable Key Lime Pie. The Harbor Gill was an Open Table Diners Choice Winner for 2016 and is the only seafood restaurant in Dana Point that has been selected 5 consecutive times as the Best Overall Restaurant. Come, join us! Call and make your reservation today! Whether you choose the cozy dining room with live piano music in the evening, or the colorful garden patio with a view of the harbor - You'll discover we're both a favorite for the locals and a popular destination for visitors from all over the world who want to feel like members of the family on their first visit.
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I hope you can't see the shame on my face, but I made a reservation for Mother's Day with my Aunt Tillie only the day before. We landed a 5:00 p.m. spot, which was perfect for my 91-year-old dinner companion and fine for me. Probably one of the last reservations for that special day, I understood and accepted that our table had no sea view. It being next to the restrooms was fine, too. Our server was smiley, sweet, helpful, and professional. She showed no visible bother when it took us a while to figure out our choices and seemed unaware of other restaurants' unwritten rule that when a table isn't ready to order, the server takes a long vacation! (You won't find it in the restaurant rule book that says when guests have been waiting a long time to order, their server shows up only when a guest at the waiting table has gone to the restroom--you know the book I mean.)

My aunt ordered the New England clam chowder and the prawn cocktail, and our server helpfully brought the soup only when my aunt said she was ready so she could enjoy it very hot, the way I like soup, too. She liked the chowder very much (I prefer Manhattan) and loved the generous serving of big, sweet shrimp. I ordered one of my favorite foods, fried calamari, as an appetizer, and seafood gumbo for my main dish. My calamari dish was perfection: delicate, fresh tasting baby creatures with a light breading, very crisp and not greasy at all. I think these calamari were the very best I've ever tasted! The gumbo was seasoned perfectly, and the shrimp in it were large and delicious, but the rest of the fish in the rest of the very soupy dish were pretty much disintegrated and indistinguishable. The taste was good, but I've had gumbo elsewhere with a much lovelier texture. I didn't eat the separately served rice (still working on those last few pounds). Oh, did I forget to mention the wonderful bread. Oh yes, I had a slice of the fresh sourdough, and it was worth the calories with some Challenge butter (but the bread could have been even better if it were served hot).

Both of us nixed dessert, but I had freshly brewed decaf, which had good flavor (for decaf).

My aunt called me the next day to say how very much she enjoyed the meal. I did, too.

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1  Thank Adrienne E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (416)
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262 - 266 of 416 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2014

My husband and I were traveling south and choose this restaurant from the good reviews we had read. We both had the $25 3 course prix fix lunch and were very impressed with the quality of the food. We started off with a cup of gazpacho and a cup of New Englad clam chowder. My husband had the grilled mahi mahi and I had the Cobb salad. I couldn't decide between the shrimp or crab topping, so the server suggested I have both. in addition to the seafood, the salad had chopped avocado, tomatoes, and egg. Everything we had was delicious. We were so full that we took our dessert course to-go...giant slices of carrot cake and chocolate cake which were enough for two servings each. If we are ever passing through Dana Point again, we will be sure to come here.
The only disappointment in this restaurant was that we thought it would have good views of the harbor but the water is some ways distant, and we looked out on a parking lot and stores. But it was warm and pleasant on the veranda and the food made up for the lack of view.

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Thank PrimroseLlane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Good food, pleasant music (Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run on background piano music was a highlight).

1  Thank starlinggirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We had the lunch special after a walk around scenic Dana Point Marina. The selection was excellent as one would expect from a restaurant specializing in seafood. The outdoor seating was nice with a view over the marina. The entrees were prepared well. My only criticisms are the excess use of salt and the paucity of veggies to go with the entrees. The prices are a little steep for what you get.. but the meal was enjoyable nonetheless.

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Thank JDL48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

An enjoyable but quite expensive dinner, small shrimps from Mexico but overwhelmed by tomato and horseradish sauce, good clam chowder and excellent Canadian scallops.

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Thank GGPtrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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