My daughter and I (both from Greenville, SC) dined at Harper's for the first time today following the recommendation of 2 different strangers we encountered at a nearby medical facility. We found both the service and the food to be excellent! Having said that I should note that we were there at an off time (about 3:00) so they were not busy and we ordered the luncheon specials. Serving sizes were appropriate and reasonably priced for the quality & quantity of the entrees. The desserts (apple cobbler and blackberry cheesecake) were also very good. I was concerned at first when my sweet tea was served in a small glass however our waiter replaced it promptly with a new glass 4 times during our dining experience before I depleted each one. The total bill was a little higher than I had expected based on the recommendations (lunch specials were $15 each) however I did not mind paying more because the taste was superb and I could find no fault with our server. We plan on returning next time we are in Columbia to see our MD specialist!
just wanted to say that the review i read is not at all accurate...Harpers was voted runner up for best service in Columbia and there is no way someone waited 45 minutes for their meal because Harpers has very strict time standards. The longest you'll ever have to wait is 10-15 minutes unless you order a filet extra well done. Happy hour drinks are offered only in the bar and on the patio between 4-7P.M. and they include $1.50 Miller lite and Yeungling Draft and $2 house drinks (not specialty drinks!) If you've never been to Harpers and you want to make sure you get the best service possible, have a hostess take you to a section with a server who has lots of experience (but know that the training for waitstaff is VERY intense and that all servers will have complete menu knowledge) Sunday brunch is the best in town and nothing costs more than about $10...get there early or expect a wait, because everyone at Harper's is a regular...believe me! The best Ribs, Pork BBQ and Burgers in Columbia hands down. Lots of food (all made from scratch) for a good price, fine dining atmosphere, Hickory grilled chicken and steak, and homemade deserts are just a few highlights. All Juice is fresh squeezed, the ingredients are always fresh, and the staff is always consistent and friendly. If the weather is nice, the patio is perfect and they offer live music almost weekly during the summer. Harpers also has monthly wine diners and weekly pasta and entree features. Try it for yourself and you'll be glad you did.
I've eaten at most of the casual and fine dining spots in Columbia and I'm not sure where Harper's fits in. If they are trying to be upscale then the food and service should match. If they are calling themselves casual dining, then the prices are over the top. We had a nice meal and decent service, but it could have been better. It took a long time to get a beer, then it came with no glass. The server did check on us many times, but she didn't suggest or anticipate what we might want. The management should train their staff to the fine dining level or lower their prices to a casual level. That seems to be where they are.
A beautiful restaurant located in the heart of 5 points. The smell of the brick oven will overtake you as you enter the dining room. An outdoor seating area offers a decent view of the foot (and vehicle) traffic roaming through the area.
IT doesn't matter what you try; all of the food is great. It is a bit more upscale than the average place, nice casual clothing is appropriate.