Dinner with a View on North River Fish Bar (NYC)

Sunset at Pier 81
The top deck of the boat with a bar
Interior when you enter the dining area of the boat

North River Fish Bar is a cool restaurant/bar dining on a boat. The interior of the bi-level space of the boat is pretty swanky. A cool lounge downstairs outfitted with a handsome wine cellar toward the back of the boat. Upstairs is the main dining room that gives you views of the west and southern Manhattan and eastern part of New Jersey. And the perk of this boat ride is the fact it’s included on the price of your food and drinks.

Drinks to start with and rolls

The cocktails are refreshing, fruit-based and balanced. My friend’s Pearlicious made with Don Q Crystal rum, coconut rum, pear, and mint was refreshing, sweet but not overtly and the coconut flavor really shined. My Hudson Bay, a concoction of Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh rosemary, and passion fruit juice was lovely and the herbaceous, savory twang of the rosemary really hooked me. The lingonberry punch was a pleasant punch that was fruity and not cloyingy sweet.

Ceviche de Pescado, fresh lime, red onions, Aleppo peppers, plantain chips
Black truffle burrata, tomato confit, balsamic glaze
Jumbo lump crabl salad, avocado, roasted corn, shaved asparagus, crisp tortilla
Charred octopus, salsa verde, roasted red peppers, chickpeas

Our starters from the shared plates section consisted of black truffle burrata, ceviche, jumbo lump crab salad, and charred octopus. All of these plates were pretty generously portioned considering it’s called small plates. The burrata was beautifully creamy and the tomato confit that sits underneath this cheese makes this dish. However, I don’t taste any black truffle. The ceviche was fine but lacked an extra ingredient to make it really delicious. The lump crab salad was a chunky crab salad that’s simply incredible with the creamy avocado, sweet roasted corn,
and shaved asparagus. The charred octopus was nicely cooked that it’s tender and wonderfully seasoned.

Filet of Branzino, faro, broccoli rabe, grape tomatoes
Black linguini, clams, shrimp, lobster, cockles, beurre blanc

Moving to the main courses of seared branzino fillets on a bed of creamy farro and grape tomatoes was a very good dish. The fish’s skin was delicately crisp and the meat was moist enough. The farro was almost cooked to a risotto-like state and seasoned nicely. The black linguine was almost overflowing with seafood. It’s mixed with lots of rich beurre blanc sauce, lobster meat, tossed in a couple of small and large clams and crowned with large prawns. All of the seafood was perfectly cooked and sweet.

Walnut cake with chantilly cream, walnut and fresh berries
Passion fruit cheesecake, raspberry coulis

While the savory dishes were very solid dishes, the desserts are its weakness. The walnut cake was moist and not too sweet except it was too heavy on the cinnamon. My commented that it tasted like autumn since there’s so much cinnamon. We did love the walnuts and fresh berries that topped this cake. The passion fruit cheesecake wasn’t as thrilling as I was hoping for since the passion fruit glaze(?) is contained too much gelatin that it’s hard to eat. The cheesecake itself was fine – gently sweet and light.

View of Lower Manhattan

While the food and drinks are very good, the timeless views of southwest Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty is really the main draw and make this experience really special.

To view more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the set of view the gallery below:

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North River Fish Bar

Pier 81 at 41st Street,
NNew York, NY 10036


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.