Several days ago we look at our schedule and realize that we’ve been pushing our date with a place that everyone has been recomending usfor a while at Polanco and, against all usual doing, had a very discreet opening that didn’t affect the attendance capabilites of every day, as it’s almost impossible to get a table without reservation. This is, maybe, because the dishes and flavors of this place -recognized for those of us who know the other franchises of this place located in Cancun and Acapulco- finally arrive to to Mexico City to be a definite choice in our options whether if your looking for a romantic dinner or a delicious reunion among friends to be stretched between glasses of wine, great steaks and a cocktail bar worthy of applause. Welcome to Harry’s.
With the concept of Prime Steakhouse & Raw Bar, this place located in Masaryk Avenue opens its doors with a full house -again, proof of the need to make a proper reservation- and the bar is where we can wait for the table etting ready for us. The amount of diners is impressive in every corner, from the main dining room to the terrace -important thing if you’re a smoker- and, for a moment, I thought our waiting time would be long. However, just a few minutes later, our waiter offering one of their famouse martinis, carried us to our table. Almost as it was rehearsed, that was the moment chosen by our companions to arrive at Harry’s and then, the four of us were ready to start the experience that step by step, would drive us to one of the best menus we’ve had in terms of taste and product quality.
Executive Chef of Harry’s, Eduardo Ruiz, promised to served us those dishes he holds as the best of his menu, which caught my eye for two special details. First, Harry’s stand proud of a section of steaks called the 1000° C Steaks presumably as being certified as USDA Prime Quality Meat, a certification reached by only 1% of the meat production worldwide and that, as explained by chef Ruiz, is cooked using ovens at that temperature, process that guarantees a perfect cooking control. The other thing that caught my attention was a responsability statement read as followed: Harry’s DOESN’T recommend or take responsability for steaks asked 3/4 cooked or well done. With this, the restaurante makes clear the respect for the product on your table and, specially, a mission to start educating the city palate for the correct way to enjoy it. With this welcome and a wine from Bodegas Santo Tomás, chef Ruiz leaves our table into his kitchen to start delivering the dishes of what will end as a 10 dishes tasting -which you should have only if you’re accompanied by friends, as the portions are considerably big- that started with a Kobe Carpaccio with Olive Oil and Burned Chili. After finishing this special entree, I couldn’t help to think that, if this was a first step, the rest of the evening was going to be overwhelming.
Then, a Crispy Squid Salad, perfect for one of our companions, as she delcared -and obviously failed in her attempt- she would only have a salad. The amount was good enough for the four of us and the dressing, with a little punching of spice is perfectly balanced with the constrasting texture of a squid greatly cooked. While we were enjoying this, some Poke Hawaiian Tuna Cubes with Soy and Sesame Dressing and the general opinion was that it was a long time since the last tuna with that quality we tasted in Mexico City.
It looked like sea food was going to be the main atraction of our night, and this wasn’t a complain when a Shrimp Cocktail using U6 sized shrimps impressive not only by the size of them but by the flavor, redefining our concept of what a good shrimp cocktail should be. At this point, I have a confession to make. Anytime I see Lobster Bisque on a menu, a get lost between the curiosity and uncertainty because, being one of my favorite dishes, I have hardly found a restaurant that satisfies my expectations. This time, Harry’s continued with the quality presented before in its dishes, as the Lobster Bisque served can only be described as precise. Flavors not only perfectly balanced, but enhanced as individuals that dance together to create the perfect texture of this iconic recipe. I could have finished the night right there but we had just finished the entrees, so the main star was about to appear: the steaks.
First, a Cowboy Rib Eye toppeed with a Truffle Butter cooked medium so everyone could have a piece of it, although I would strongly recommend ordering it medium rare to better enjoy of the product. The scent combination of butter and the smoothness of the steak are the exact way to taste this dish, but be careful not to overpower your meat with the butter, as you might lose some of the steak in the intensity of the truffle. Then, a Cowgirl Ribeye with a Cabernet and Goat Cheese Butter on top that surprises our palate with the totally different flavor experience of this combination. This two options, we enjoyed siding them with Smashed Potatoes with Jalapeño and a totally classic siding when we talk about steaks: Macaroni and Cheese. However, it wouldn’t be a experience if not for the twist given by chef Eumir Pérez Enriquez, who is in charge of the kitchen in Mexico City’s venue, to this classic, preparing it with a Six Cheese Mixture and Truffle Oil. Just to be clear, I would happily chose this as my siding for every meal for the rest of my life.
As you can imagine, at this point our body was actually complaining from the cinism behind this tasting. And it was justified, given that, besides the extraordinary qualty in every dish, the service of our watier can only be described as a true example of what service is supposed to be. Without beinf invasive -a constant problem in many restaurants- he was at all time ready to resolve any wish or need of everyone at the table and, if this wasn’t enough, he even did everything with a smile and funny attitude, folcloric and honest, making us feel not only as diners well serviced, but as friends coming back to a place already waiting for us. This is, maybe, one of the main points at Harry’s as, as we already told you, the place was totally packed with people and everyone, not only the waiters asigned to our table, was receiving a truly personalized service to fulfill every guest’s need.
Relocated in the terrace for coffee and a well deserved digestive, chef Eduardo Ruiz sent us the final surprise that was filled with caloric guilt but, at the moment, made us to pull a miracle to find space in our bodies pretty sure about the delightful closure we were about to dive our spoons on: The Banana Box, a creation with Vanilla Ice Cream, Flambeè Bananans with Myers Rum served inside a box of caramel 10 inchs tall. Yes, you might think it may pall our palate but, amazingly it doesn’t.
After that night, we have returned to Harry’s on several occasions and, even with the amazing dishes we already knew and some others we discovered along the way such as the Kobe Burguer -which I should tell you is portioned greatly enough to be a main and only dish for one person-, we cannot end this review with something worth mentioning. Harry’s has two major problems. First, the space in the terrace is so saturated with tables in an effort to offer more diners the option of being sitted at the smoking table that, within minutes, it got really annoying when the 6th waiter in less than 15 minutes had to push our chairs just to walk between the tables. The second problem is that the staff in charge of the wines is not well trained in terms of temperature control because the main room, where the wines are located, is totally packed with costumers which obviously affects room temperature. This is a total disrespect to the winers because, no matter how great are the wines served at Harry’s, they go wrong if certain rules of keep are not followed. We expect that, after we talked with the manager, these problems get fixed soon. In term of costs, even when the menu looks high priced, the cost-benefit relation is completely fair.
We leave late night and the streets of Polanco were as dinamic as ever. We were sure it would be complicated due to the amount of food we ate but it was surprising to find out that we weren’t feeling that full but really satisfied with the experience that even the night wind was making us walk lighter. Chef Eduardo Ruiz has landed on Mexico City after positioned his resturant in Cancun and Acapulco as references of fine dining. Only time can say if this city gives such a welcome to a menu as cosmopolitan as the city itself.