Cruise on over to the pier’s newest eateryA La Carte Columns
December 4, 2016
Story By: Caitlin Basilio | Photos by: CAITLIN BASILIO
Set sail to Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38, the newest eatery located off of Nimitz Highway. Adding some diversity to the famed Pier known for seafood restaurants such as Nico’s Pier 38 and Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill, Harbor Restaurant is situated right above Nico’s.
Although Harbor Restaurant just opened this past May, it is already making waves as it introduces a very different atmosphere from what Pier 38-visitors are used to — picture high ceilings, an open floor plan, and ceiling-to-floor windows offering breathtaking views of the harbor.
General manager Winston Gample describes Harbor Restaurant as a happy medium between a takeout restaurant and fine-dining establishment. The eatery also is equipped with wood interior and a regal copper-top bar, and is home to the state’s only Brasa oven — according to Gample, only 10-12 exist in all of the United States.
Before diving into a main entree, one appetizer patrons mustn’t overlook is Spanish Grilled Octopus ($14). “This octopus is from Spain,” says Gample. “We grill it, slice it kind of like poke-style, and then mix it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to give it more of a Mediterranean flair.
“The octopus is more tender, unlike local tako,” he adds. “It’s not hard and chewy and is something different from your usual sesame oil, shoyu and onion.”
Another favorite starter is Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad ($14 lunch, $17 dinner, $10 half portion served during dinner). “We roast beets in this oven (Brasa) which makes them really sweet,” explains Gample. “And we do that with arugula, goat cheese, Dijon vinaigrette — and we make all of our own salad dressings.”
Currently a special at Harbor Restaurant is Seared Mahi Mahi with Clam Dashi and Fresh Clams ($28 lunch; $32 dinner), which is served with rice and vegetables. “We do the clams in the Brasa oven and since the oven is so hot, the clams open up really quick, making it so that there’s a lot of meat in them,” says Gample.
Don’t forget to top off this extravagant meal with something sweet. Cabernet Poached Pear and Vanilla Bean Gelato ($9, dinner only) surely will turn Harbor Restaurant into an all-time favorite for anyone not already convinced.
Harbor Restaurant At Pier 38
1129 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu
Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.