The closest many of us will get to escaping NYC this summer is heading to the beach. But enjoying the water is even closer (and cheaper) than we think.
The casual West Side after-work crowd already knows about the lobster rolls and local brews aboard New York Cruise Lines’ floating lobster shack, North River Lobster Company. This summer, it’s joined by Fish Bar, its “sexy big sister” as NYCL CEO Danny Boockvar describes it.
The new upscale boat has three ways to enjoy your free cruise down to the Statue of Liberty: a below-decks cocktail lounge, an upscale restaurant and a casual rooftop bar. But you shouldn’t feel confined to just one of them during your nearly two hours of sailing. “You’ve gotta get around the boat,” says Boockvar.
Start in the lounge with tapas like cornmeal-crusted oysters or black truffle burrata, then head upstairs to the restaurant and order dinner, but don’t wait for it at your table — toast with one of their 25 bottles of champagne and go out to the bow for a Lady Liberty photo op. A waiter will let you know when your food’s ready. Then end the night upstairs, after the sunset, with a farm-to-cocktail creation (many of the bar’s herbs are grown on a decommissioned steamship also docked at Pier 81).
Now that you know your way around Fish Bar, we asked Boockvar for his recommendations on dry land.
Best late-night spot: “The Press Lounge rooftop bar at Ink48 hotel — no bottle service, [just] dramatic views and good seasonal cocktails. It also has a greenhouse, so it goes further into the colder seasons.” 653 11th Ave., Hell’s Kitchen
Favorite meal under $10: “Anything at Gotham West Market, especially Choza Taqueria, which serves authentic Mexican food like a roadside stand in Mexico — don’t miss the churros. Plus, Ample Hills ice cream.” 600 11th Ave.
Hidden gem: “The Marshal in Hell’s Kitchen has farm-to-table comfort food, including a great meatloaf and mac’n’cheese.” 628 10th Ave.
Going solo: “Just had great meal by myself, but given communal seating you’re never alone at RedFarm. Get the dumplings and spring rolls; they also have great fried rice.” 2170 Broadway, 529 Hudson St.
Where to take out-of-town guests: “I like the eclectic fare at The Cecil in Harlem, short ribs and collard greens but still has a cool international vibe and great showing of the awesome new Harlem restaurant scene.” 210 W. 118th St.
Date night: “Catch a musical performance or a comedian at City Winery, perfect date night.” 155 Varick St.
Catch up with friends: “Berg’n in Crown Heights, the beer hall from the founders of Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, especially the BBQ from Mighty Quinn's.” 899 Bergen St.