I'm on A Boat And...

Grand Banks

If you were searching for the perfect quintessential NYC summer spot, look no further than this schooner turned restaurant and bar. Docked at Pier 35 downtown, the ship was hand-built and christened in 1942 and is the last original salt bank fishing vessel in existence, having once been part of a fleet of hundreds of large wooden schooners fishing the Grand Banks and moving cargoes of fish and salt in the North Atlantic to South America. Click here to read more about the boat's history and see photos of her in her prime. Grand Banks operates as a partnership between the not-for-profit Maritime Foundation and the hospitality group Summer Ops, generating funds to support maritime conservation, education, and preservation.

Every summer the boat docks here in Manhattan and becomes an oyster bar, perfect for drinks and snacks whilst enjoying the sunshine and the steady rocking of the water. It's as close to feeling like a vacation that you can get without leaving Manhattan. In fact, upon hearing an exasperated waitress explain to a patron that he would have to wait for one of the few tables available because "people linger," my friend Rory and I began to discuss the fact that we didn't really feel like leaving just yet either. Between the beachy reggae music wafting out from behind the bar, the stunning views of Lower Manhattan and the Hudson River, the relaxing motion of the gently rocking boat, and the warm summer sun it's unsurprising that people linger. 

We sat for hours chatting, enjoying drinks like the Limonata and the Hemingway Daiquiri (rum, grapefruit, lime, yum!), and chowing down on some delectable seafood. First, we split the lobster roll and Rory laughed as she looked up and my half was gone before she took her second bite. It was just too good (and I was just too hungry having not eaten much that day). With melt-in-your-mouth buttery pieces of fresh lobster between a softly toasted bun drizzled with lemon and herbs, can you blame me for devouring it? We then ordered the grilled tilefish and it was simple but tasty, a nicely prepared flaky white fish with some tangy pesto-like sauce over top. Of course, we got fries on the side, and then ordered dessert which was by far the best part: strawberries and mascarpone with a honey drizzle and caramel waffle cookie bits. I would say it was well worth the hassle of hobbling onboard in my walking boot with my broken foot and well worth the sunburn that appeared on my right shoulder that evening.