Monday, March 26, 2012

The Water Club

The East River at 28th - 32nd Sts, New York, NY 10016, 212-683-3333 www.thewaterclub.com

The Water Club

The Water Club was built in 1982 on Manhattan's East River near the 34th street heliport. The culmination of a three year project, the restaurant is set on a floating barge and resembles a docked yacht. Although you can arrive by foot, its location off the highway makes that awkward and the restaurant recommends arriving either by private car or taxi. Valet parking is offered in the restaurant's lot and that itself is a rare luxury in Manhattan.

The Water Club
You enter the lobby with its sailing and nautical decor and are directed into the expansive wood paneled lounge, complete with oak bar, fireplace, piano player and plenty of comfortable seating. You may enjoy a cocktail in this club-like setting or head upstairs to the Crow's Nest, an upper deck seasonal bar.

The Water Club
When you're ready to dine, you cross over into the main dining room where a maitre d will escort you to a well appointed table by the vast windows that overlook the water. The room itself is floating but is so securely tethered that you don't notice the movement unless you gaze at the waves outside the window.

The Water Club
A well dressed waiter will arrive to offer menus, wine and specials. Water glasses will be filled, a basket of assorted breads will arrive as well as an amuse bouche, a little tasty offering from the chef. Everything about your experience here will be elegant, refined and genteel.

The Water Club
As a native Manhattanite, I have seen the flags flying over The Water Club many times over the years and always thought that I'd like to go there. But somehow the opportunity never arose. This past weekend, however, a business associate of Brian's was in town with his wife and we had plans to take them to dinner. It seemed my perfect opportunity had arrived. I confessed to Brian that I thought the restaurant might be past its prime, that it might well show its age, be a tourist trap, rest on its location or otherwise disappoint but that I wanted to see it anyway.

The Water Club
Caprese Salad
Thankfully my fears were unwarranted. The place has been kept up well and caters much more to an established local clientele than passing visitors. The menu, although touting fresh lobsters and other seafood delicacies, also offers enough variety for most pallets and the food is well prepared.






The Water Club
Asparagus Bisque
We began with a traditional Caprese salad made with wonderfully fresh ingredients and a special spring asparagus bisque that was creamy and very flavorful. Along with a biscuit from the bread basket, it was comfort food at its best.








The Water Club
Entrees brought the much celebrated lobster with lemon butter as well as expertly prepared filets. Sides of mashed potatoes and spinach were hearty and well made. We shared desserts of rich layered chocolate cake and light banana cream pie. And we lingered as the sun set on the water.

The Water Club
There seemed to be many regulars among our fellow diners and the crowd here is mature and appear well- heeled. Prior to dinner we chatted with the bartender in the lounge and he confessed that most of his drink orders are for Whiskey Sours, Sidecars, Manhattans and other classic cocktails. In fact, he rather failed our offer to him to make us something spring-like and interesting. But disappointing original cocktails notwithstanding, we had a delightful evening.

The Water Club
Banana Cream Pie
But now comes the question we always ask ourselves which is whether or not we will return. Although we could find no fault with the food, it was a fairly standard fare of seafood, steaks and such. The restaurant is on the pricey side, as you might imagine, and the truth is that similar food can be had at nice restaurants all over town for less money. The setting is indeed lovely and unique and the service was impeccable. We may or may not return as a couple but would be delighted to entertain guests here.

4 comments:

  1. Glad you finally got the opportunity to experience the water club. I have only dined once on on a boat (it cruised around a lake) and it was a magical experience. Your dinner looks amazing, especially the cream pie! Thanks for sharing you dining adventure, definitely well worth a visit.

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  2. This is great to know! I've always wanted to go to the Water Club but like you had no real reason to, I just pass by time to time and think I'd like to try it out. The food does look great. It's really the setting that makes this place unique. Great write up! :)

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  3. That banana creme pie looks incredible.... any thoughts on the recipe?

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    1. Heidi - although it was tasty, it didn't rise to the level of wanting to request or discern the recipe. Brian and I love the old fashioned diner-style banana cream pie and this was a "chic" version with only a thin crust and brulee'd bananas on top.

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