It was with much anticipation (after the Inquirer's great review and some personal rec's) that we headed off to the Harborview this past weekend. Saturday night we arrived and were told we had a 30-minute wait. After 1.5 hours and more pressing hungar pangs, we gave up and headed for the Lobster House take-out.
Sunday night we decided to try again-- A phone call to the manager helped us ensure that we would have a table ready when we arrived, regardless of their no-reservation policy. Upon arrival we were greeted with apologies and seated right away. However from here, it went down a steep hill.
First of all, the upstairs dining room was so noisy, it was impossible for a group of 7 to share a conversation, not to mention place our orders without yelling to the waitress.
The first order to come out was supposedly she-crab soup. It was a bizzare bland soup with pureed carrots in it, but then an overwhelming burn of cayenne pepper (perhaps to make up for the lack of other flavor?). Needless to say it went back to the kitchen. About 20 minutes later, salads and my husband's appetizer came. Salads were basic and fine-- but the fried tomato appetizer tasted like it came out of the same fryer as the fish, oysters, and whatever else had been cooked all day. The calamari came out burned and soaked in old fryer grease. Again this was sent back, and a second round came back to our table only slightly improved.
The entrees arrived. I would have been very satisfied with my crab cake (not lump, but a decent flavor and panko crust) if only it had still been warm by the time it arrived at the table. The special that evening featured a tomato hollandaise, which I requested on the crabcake, as opposed to the bernaise it lists on the menu. I was later told that I had to have the bernaise, because that is actually what was served with the special-- even though another party at our table had the special and indeed had a tomato hollandaise on top. Why lie??
The seafood fra diablo arrived with a burned sauce and was a huge dissapointment. Additionally one person ordered his serving spicy, but his plate went to the wrong person in our party, who in turn was ill for the evening because of the mistake.
Couple this with many smaller mistakes-- unsweetened iced tea served without sugar, no bread basket until it was requested, a 2.5 hour ordeal of a dinner, a dinner knife dropped on one of our guests head, and a waitress who was not very knowledgeable about the menu or attentive.
Although the view on this full moon evening was lovely, next time I'll turn my attention towards the other fantastic spots Cape May has to offer.