Owner / Chef
Chef Harold was raised in the restaurant business and has been fortunate to travel and be exposed to great cuisine and wine throughout his entire life. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Chef Balink holds a degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, a bachelor’s degree in hotel restaurant management from Boston University as well as his Advanced Level Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. In addition to his educational accomplishments, Chef Balink has also completed apprenticeships at Le Cirque in New York, The Flagstaff House in Colorado and The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
One of the most well-known and desired chefs in Southwest Florida, he recently launched his fifth local establishment, Harold’s, a small upscale restaurant serving creative American cuisine, built in alignment with the farm-to-table movement. This endeavor followed a long career in the restaurant and hospitality business, where Chef Balink has acquired more than 35 years in the industry.
Serving guests and pairing food and wine are what I love to do best.
Florida Trend Magazine Golden Spoon Award
Top 100 Restaurants in Florida 2019, 2020
Best New Restaurant 2015
Best Restaurant Ft. Myers 2017-2021
News Press Jean Le Boeuf
Best Restaurant in Ft. Myers 2018-2020
House Chefs of Southwest Florida 2015
Best of 2015-2020
Fort Myer’s first farm-to-table restaurant offering innovative dishes changing weekly. Family, friends, food, and wine mean everything to me so bring your appetite and remember “no bad attitudes, this is a happy place”.
Featuring a full liquor bar and semi-open kitchen, happy hour, business lunches, comfort, warm, friendly, sleek, nuanced. We do not offer high chairs and we do not have a children’s menu.
A trip to Harold Balink’s diminutive bistro is always a special occasion thanks to its seasonally inspired dishes.
- Gulfshore Life
Started off with the small cheese plate, then had the chicken, carrot, garlic soup, Wife had the veal, I had the snapper. Did not have room for dessert as we were stuffed. Harold came out of the kitchen to say hello to repeat guest and friends.
Finally found an outstanding restaurant here. The food and the service were both impeccable And tucked away in an unlikely plaza. It only seats 34 so make a reservation. The menu changes every week. We had a Buffalo cauliflower and spinach salad to start. Then a cowgirl steak and a yellow snapper en papilotte. No dessers. Nice wine selections. We particularly liked the servers who worked as a team.
Nobody does it better! It's easy to see why Harold's is rated #1 by Ft Myers diners. Everything about this intimate, classy restaurant is Off the Charts in terms of food, ambiance and service.
Executive Sous Chef
Executive Pastry Chef
Joseph "J" John McAuley
Chef de Cuisine