Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two: Two If by Sea

Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two: Two If by Sea

Article excerpt

Grand Banks: Open weekday evenings, and weekends starting at noon; small plates $14-$18.



Grand Banks, Pier 25, at N. Moore St.; The Water Table, at Skyport Marina, F.D.R. Dr. at 23rd St.

For inhabitants of an Island, New Yorkers spend very little time on boats. They spend an enormous amount of time in restaurants and bars, however, and it stands to reason that the savviest way to coax them offshore is with food and drink. Transpose the steely, iPad-wielding host to the end of a gangplank, and you've got Grand Banks, a new oyster bar on the Sherman Zwicker, a gorgeous 1942 fishing schooner currently docked at Pier 25, in Tribeca. On a recent Friday, a young hopeful gazed longingly at the throngs of Panama-hatted men and maxi-dressed women who'd made it aboard--at a hundred and forty-five persons, the hundred-and-forty-two-foot vessel had reached capacity. "It's my birthday--can I just push 'em over?" he asked. "This is just like Nantucket!" a burly blond in a white polo piped.

The scene on deck was quite pleasant, if somewhat treacherous--a flood tide rocked the boat, and some patrons perched precariously on the narrow ledge of the gunwale. As the sun set over the Hudson, bartenders dressed in nautical stripes and aviators mixed tastefully themed cocktails like the Engine Room, an ideally tart mixture of lager, aquavit, ginger, and lemon, and sunset-hued Negroni Sbagliati (Italian for "incorrect"), made with Prosecco instead of gin. Naked Cowboy oysters from the Long Island Sound, along with creamy, clam-shaped Kusshis from Vancouver Island, supplemented several truly small plates--an arugula salad with ricotta, figs, and thyme-infused honey gets you barely a handful of greens, and an order of fried squash blossoms comes with just three--courtesy of Mark Firth, a former partner at Diner and Marlow & Sons. …

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