It is the certainty that the Manhattan skyline will be served day and night with your meal that you find yourself on a ferry bound for Long Island City and Water’s Edge. Under the new direction of the Singh Hospitality Group, the barge-based venue has replaced its classic old-fashioned interior with a sleeker, more modern look. Where guests once sunk into regal pink and yellow cushions, now sit edgier, contemporary pieces Jonathan Adler would approve of. The stemware is different, the outdoor deck has grown. But just when you’re starting to think the decor and ambiance is missing a wow factor other than the twinkling vista, the food arrives.
The lobster bisque ($14) is lightly textured and not too creamy, and has a succulent topping of tempura. When the Kung Pao Calamari ($14) appears with chilies, peanuts, roasted pepper bites, and hoisin sauce, the eclectic American-labeled menu begins to reveal itself as being heavily influenced by Asian fusion cuisine. Calculated forkfuls of Ahi tuna and soba noodles were taken next to ensure there would be leftovers; a punch of spice with perfectly pan seared seafood doesn’t come around that often.
For dessert, Robert, a warm Indian waiter who’s been with Water’s Edge since 1996, selected the dessert sampler ($10). The tropical chunks of fresh pineapple, coconut sorbet, and a shot glass of Piña Colada seemingly completes a conspiratorial event that you’ve gone from Manhattan to somewhere much farther away. While the beautiful big city lights never leave your sight, by meal’s end, the experience inside has almost been as enjoyable as the view. Almost.
How to get there: Skip the subway in favor of the free Water’s Edge ferry ride from the East 23rd Street Pier/Skyport Marina to the restaurant. The beautiful sail lasts thirty-minutes across the East River. The ferry departs every hour from Manhattan, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. (Water’s Edge, The East River at 44th Drive, Long Island City, 718.482.0033, watersedgenyc.com)
Note: Every month, Water’s Edge hosts a special wine dinner, featuring a hand-picked selection of wines, each paired with a five-course meal. And on Mondays and Tuesdays, guests may choose to indulge in a five-course wine dinner for only $50.
Photo: Courtesy of andremaier.com
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.