With tons of friends and family visiting this summer, it seems like I’ve spent a lot of time on boats touring the city, but I don’t hate it. Especially when the boats are spacious, chic, and not riddled with tourists.
The newest boat in town, Fish Bar, opened for service this summer (we previously covered its launch party) and just launched brunch service this month. The Lady Liberty brunch sets sail on Sundays only, promptly at 12:30 p.m. Reservations can be made in advance for the dining room on the second deck, otherwise you can order off the menu or just stick to cocktails on the roof deck or lower bar.
The boat takes a 90-minute loop around the southern tip of Manhattan, offering spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The trip length gave me and my friend Jen plenty of time to catch up over our brunch entrees and a few glasses of rosé, savoring the very end of summer.
To our delight, we were greeted with a plate of complimentary small muffins and breakfast pastries to nibble on as we surveyed the menu. This entire brunch was on the house, but all of our fellow diners received the pastries as well. We particularly enjoyed the soft blueberry muffins and a biscotti-esque treat.
Although one would assume Fish Bar would feature a seafood-centric menu, the majority of brunch menus were traditional fare like you’d find at any restaurant on land, ranging from French toast to burgers.
We ordered the yogurt parfait to start, which was topped with granola, berries, honey, and a fresh sprig of mint. This dish was light and refreshing, and my favorite part of our meal, aside from the company. The bowl contained a generous serving of berries and a heavy ribbon of honey, which completely satisfied my sweet tooth.
Jen was craving a savory lunch and ordered the chicken wrap with fries. We were disappointed that she had the same slightly packaged taste to her wrap; it just didn’t taste fresh or handmade. She picked at her sandwich and we filled up on the fries.
Since we were aboard a ship, I figured the salmon platter, with a bagel, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and onions would be a safe bet. Unfortunately, I was let down. It’s often the small things that make a difference and I was immediately off-put by the Philadelphia cream cheese containers that graced my plate. After seeing that, the bagel and smoked salmon tasted equally generic and packaged.
Many patrons around us wolfed down impressive looking burgers and Benedicts, so maybe we just ordered wrong. I’ve dined aboard Fish Bar for dinner and apps and its sister ship North River Lobster Co and had a A-grade experience; sometimes a new brunch just needs to work out the kinks.
Regardless, we soaked up the amazing views and appreciated the unique brunch experience aboard the expansive ship. Anchors aweigh!
The Bitches say: C. The food was disappointing, but I would give them a chance to work out the kinks. Fish Bar is a beautiful boat with unparalleled views of the city, and untouristy to boot.
W 41st St and 12th Avenue, Pier 81
North Berth, New York, NY 10036
Fish Bar serves brunch on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. (the boat boards at 12 p.m.)