Harbor House Steamer
Come by land or by sea, but come ready for tasty meals. The Harbor House's new management combines a fresh food with a knockout view for a satisfying dining experience.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
3410 Yacht Club Circle
Sunday–Thursday 11am to 9pm
Friday & Saturday 11am to 10pm
You know you can expect fresh seafood when the restaurant reserves dock space for customers who arrive by boat. That’s how they do it at Harbor House Steamer in Diamondhead.
Looking out of the picture windows in the spacious upstairs dining room, you get a sweeping view of the Bay, the marshes, and the boat dock below a broad porch where tables are available for outside dining service.
Restaurateur Jim McCann took over ownership of the Harbor House in February, which he found in his search for a waterfront restaurant after selling two restaurants in Florida. Now a resident of Diamondhead, McCann has made only subtle changes, mainly in food presentation. “We didn’t want to change the recipes or the menu because they were already so successful,” said Tim Marotta, who runs the front of the house.
By Sea (as opposed to the pork and beef that star in the By Land entrees) showcases whole flounder, Asian ahi tuna, trout almondine and stuffed crab, along with the always-popular shrimp and oyster platters.
Steamed Goods include some over-the-top offerings for a crowd. The Admiral’s Steamer generously serves at least 10 diners with five pounds of steamed Alaskan King crab, Royal Red shrimp, snow crab and Dungeness crab with charbroiled oysters along with drawn butter, though it doesn’t say how much butter it takes to go with all that seafood. The price is an eye-popping $499.95 and yes, a couple have been ordered, Marotta said. Couples, rather than crowds, go for the signature steamed seafood.
“We have sold quite of bit of steamers for two ($110),” he said. “It’s a good deal. You get a lot of seafood.”
Portions are generous across the board at Harbor House. Fourteen large gulf shrimp, lightly dusted and fried, practically filled the large lunch plate that was rounded out by the side of fresh broccoli and carrot.
The number one best seller, though, is the Scarlet Red Snapper, deliciously pan fried and topped with sweet crabmeat and hollandaise sauce. It was the “I’m getting that next time” item at our table.
Besides lunch and dinner service, Harbor House hosts lots of parties in the open area downstairs that can accommodate up to 300 guests like one party last month. “We get a lot of people celebrating here,” Marotta said.
Harbor House seats about 185 in the dining room, deck, and bar. They’re warming up the big screen TVs for fans of college and pro football to come enjoy the game with food and drinks. And the restaurant just kicked off a Thursday night special: kids eat free with the purchase of a dinner entree.
Whether you come by boat or by car, whatever you do, come with an appetite.