For more than 30 years, things have hardly changed at the Harbor View Cafe in Pepin, Wisconsin, the town's local tavern-come-gastronomic destination. (Jordan's King Hussein, Iraqi President Talabani, and the Reverend Billy Graham have all graced the Harbor View while receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic.) The cozy, wood-lined shoebox still has the same wide bank of windows overlooking the harbor, the big, comfortable booths, and the bookshelves hanging from the ceiling, lined with rows of classic tomes, such as Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Studs Turkel's Working. Most of the staff has worked at the Harbor View for years; one of the cooks has been there since the beginning, and the warm hospitality is as reliable as the trains that rumble past. The Harbor View's tables are set with prim blue-and-white checkered tablecloths, and a chalkboard menu lists the day's selections, largely scratch-made, family recipes that make the food of bygone days feel contemporary. Many are longtime classics, like coq au vin or lasagna, but they also specialize in seasonal fresh fish. Note that the Harbor View doesn't take credit cards or reservations, so bring cash or a checkbook and after you put your name on the list, plan to hit the shops, watch the eagles, or stand on the sidewalk with a glass of wine and enjoy the harbor view.
Thu-Sat, Mon 11am-2:30pm, Thu-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat 4:45pm-9pm, Sun 11:45am-7:30pm, Mon 5pm-8pm
Beer and Wine, Lunch, Reservations Not Accepted