10 Great Waterside Restaurants
© Adrien Glover
River Café, New York City
What It’s Like: As classic as a string of pearls, this New York jewel—in a perfect setting on the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge—has romanced diners since it opened its doors in 1977. The intimate flower-filled restaurant—on a magically retrofitted barge moored in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood—has had its fair share of hit-or-miss chefs over the years, but its most recent top toques have turned that trend around, producing superb seasonal American dishes, garnished with the gentle sway of the East River.
What to Order: The menu changes with the seasons, but right now you can’t go wrong with Taylor Bay scallop ceviche with coriander; Hudson Valley foie gras two ways; and Branzino filet with smoked tomato petals. The always-available chocolate marquise “Brooklyn Bridge” is a must for dessert—it’s edible art.
Best Seat in the House: Angle for one of the handful of coveted window seats that overlook the busy East River and the twinkling Gotham skyline.
Insider Tip: This summer, be sure to check out NYC’s latest public art works project—the Waterfalls, one of which is within spray shot of the restaurant. Created by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, the four dramatic cascades of H2O placed along the lower East River are best viewed at night, thanks to dramatic under-lighting.
More Info: River Café.