In centuries past, when the Hudson River teemed with tall-ships and tugs, dining aboard boats was a common practice – be it on dingy docked barges selling all-you-can-eat oysters, or on the decks of luxurious 1920s commuter yachts. Though the common practice has long since lapsed, there’s one new addition to the New York dining scene single-handedly rekindling the supper-at-sea tradition of yesteryear. The Grand Banks may be a simple seafood and cocktail bar, but its picturesque setting aboard the historic Sherman Zwicker sailing schooner makes the sustainable oysters, lobster rolls and sailor-worthy beverages all the more tasty.
Built in Nova Scotia in 1942, the Sherman Zwicker started life traversing the North Atlantic and sailing the South American trade routes before falling into disrepair in the 1960s. Fortunately, she was found, restored and, with a little help from Mark Firth (formerly of onshore eateries Marlow & Sons and Diner), refitted with wooden tables lining the bulwarks, and a bar set around the main mast. Along with fresh Long Island oysters – shucked at a small cook’s station at the stern – and small plates from ceviche to fluke crudo, guests can sample signature cocktails like the Engine Room, with lager, Aquavit, ginger and lemon. Though the schooner stays securely moored at Pier 25 for now, she’ll soon pull anchor and set sail in late October for warmer waters. Look for her return in 2015.
Pier 25 / Hudson River Park / Tribeca / +1 212 960 3390 / noon-11pm Mon-Fri, 10am-midnight Sat, 10am-11pm Sun until Oct / grandbanks.org