Casual Dining reviews

The Triad is over 200 miles from the coast and even farther from New England, but Harbor One in High Point brings the coast to us. With nice, light jazz playing to add to the ambiance and atmosphere, this is a place you want to convene with your friends and have a relaxing meal. Serving up New England-style seafood, chicken wings and inventive sides, this cozy spot has a lot to offer.

While the ocean ebbs and flows, ever changing with the tide, Harbor One seems to be doing the same. At one time, the restaurant boasted a hearty breakfast menu with shrimp and grits, salmon patties and grits, waffles and omelettes beginning at 5 a.m. Now, only the grits with shrimp and salmon and the patties remain. Clam chowder, featured prominently on the menu with one of the few photographs of menu items, was not available the few times I was able to visit but a recent Facebook post alerted fans to its return. Hand-shucked with limited availability, it’s best to call to make sure the soup is on the daily menu.

Start with the mac and crab bites as an appetizer. More macaroni than crab, the bites are crispy, panko breadcrumb-coated balls sprinkled with a dash of fresh parsley or fresh chopped chives. The house-made remoulade is what really makes these bite-sized flavor bombs sing. Heavy with Old Bay seasoning and heavy smoked paprika, the sauce is excellent on all of the menu offerings. Order extra because you will want to dip your wings, fries and fingers into this magic elixir. While the zucchini fries aren’t actual “fries”, they are thinly sliced disks of courgette dredged lightly and fried to order. The result is a little soggy and full of seeds, but once dipped in the accompanying house remoulade, it won’t matter much. If the spicy and creamy remoulade is not your favorite, the tartar sauce is a bit milder but very zesty with lots of pickle relish. The cocktail sauce is also house-made, but is weak when compared to the other sauces. A little sweet with little to no horseradish bite, it’s a step up from plain ketchup and goes well with all of the fried seafood options.

The crispy whiting filets and jumbo shrimp are your best bets in a basket or a platter. The shrimp are truly jumbo, nearly the size of the fist of a baby. As far as sides go, the coleslaw is a star. The fresh, crunchy shreds of cabbage with a slightly sweet, well balanced mayonnaise-based dressing seasoned with celery seed was the best part of the meal. Here is a pro tip: if the side of the day is cabbage, order it. The cabbage is sauteed and stewed with bell peppers, hot peppers and onions. The leaves, stems and stalk are all used and meld into an incredibly spicy and savory dish.

Only open since July 2019, the restaurant still smells new inside. Harbor One may be new to the High Point culinary scene, but the tastes of the menu show that a well-seasoned hand is back in the kitchen.

Casual Dining features local restaurants for diners on a budget. It appears the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Contact Nikki Miller-Ka at nicolettemiller.ka@gmail.com.

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