I met some friends recently for a late dinner at Harry & Izzy’s. We decided to do appetizers and salads as no one was in the mood for a big meal. So I guess I’ll have to go back sometime for a more complete review!
Although I had never been to Harry & Izzy’s, I had an idea I would like it. It’s owned by the same people who own St. Elmo Steakhouse and I’ve always been a big St. Elmo fan. Harry & Izzy’s has the same classy feel as St. Elmo, yet is more comfortable and relaxed. They also feature the famous St. Elmo shrimp cocktail: jumbo shrimp with a blow-your-head-off, painfully delicious sauce. This really brings meaning to “hurts so good”.
The great thing about a horseradish burn is that it’s over quick and your taste buds are restored to enjoy the next bite. Just as good as the shrimp cocktail, but with more subtle flavors is the Beef Carpaccio appetizer. For those of you not familiar, carpaccio is paper thin sliced raw beef with a mustard sauce. Harry & Izzy’s dresses theirs with capers and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It’s no surprise that the owners of the best steakhouse (IMO) in the city do raw beef just as well as cooked. It’s just plain delicious and if you’ve never had carpaccio before this is a great place to try it.
The Seared Tuna appetizer is quite good, but it doesn’t really stand out from similar dishes at other quality restaurants. It’s lightly seared, covered with sesame seeds and served with a spicy sauce. What does stand out about it though is the accompanying seaweed salad. It’s good enough to stand alone, but pairs well with the tuna.
I wanted to love the Garbage Salad just as much as the appetizers, but I couldn’t. With shrimp, Italian meats, cheese, artichokes, hearts of palm and celery should have been bursting with flavor, but the taste was rather flat. I did enjoy the Wedge Salad, but honestly it’s pretty hard to screw that one up and I happen to be partial to the wedge to begin with. It’s exactly as a wedge should be, crisp and crunchy with blue cheese and bacon and I’d probably order it again.
My friends ordered the Oven Roasted Beet Salad which has beets (duh), oranges, goat cheese and walnuts over mesclun greens in a tarragon vinaigrette. They love, love, loved it but I hate, hate, hate beets so my opinion really doesn’t mater here. I’ll just say it’s a great salad for beet lovers (shudder).
For excellent food, great service and a classy atmosphere, I give Harry & Izzy’s an overall rating of 2.75. Here’s the breakdown:
Deliciousness = 3.0
Ambiance = 3.0
Service = 3.0
Bang for Your Buck = 2.0
Price = $$$