Nothing says summer like being in close proximity of a body of water. Living in Manhattan, we’re surrounded by water but it’s not exactly where you’d want to take a dip. Thus, we’ve been loving the boom of fun, chic floating bars and restaurants that have been popping up during the summertime.
We recently spent an evening aboard Fish Bar, a newly opened vessel with its inaugural first season in full swing. It’s the city’s first three-floor floating seafood lounge and restaurant. The boat itself is quite impressive; there’s plenty of space aboard its 3,000 sq. foot outdoor deck top and 6,000 square feet of interior dining space.
Fish Bar is the sister barge to North River Lobster Co; we celebrated North River Lobster Co’s launch back in 2014. The founder cheekily remarked that while North River Lobster can be compared to Montauk, Fish Bar is Southampton. He hit the nail on the head; Fish Bar definitely has a fancier, more polished atmosphere.
It’s located right on Pier 81 and easily found by a jaunty walkway leading up to the ship. Unlike many of the other floating bars, Fish Bar actually departs the dock and sets sail for a two-hour cruise twice per night. The awesome thing is there is no fee to sail; it’s included in the cost of food and drinks onboard.
The closest I’ve ever gotten to the Statue of Liberty was during the IKEA ferry so it was an absolute treat to embark on this journey. We were spoiled with amazing views of Manhattan at sundown as well as Ellis Island and Lady Liberty. The route was the perfect non-touristy, touristy activity made even better by a delicious food and beverage menu.
Unsurprisingly, Fish Bar’s menu is seafood centric so we enjoyed noshing on apps from the sea such as calamari and squid salad. The charred squid salad was a stand out as well as the expansive cheese selection. The Mediterranean risotto and black truffle burrata also can’t be missed.
Also, what’s a sunset sail without some cocktails? I appreciated that the cocktail list features many seasonal, fresh garnishes like berries and pomegranate seeds. We recommend the Hudson Bay, with gin, rosemary, and passion fruit, and the Summer in Greece, with rum, grapes, strawberry, and fresh mint.
Bottoms up and anchors aweigh!
Pier 81 at 41st St
New York, NY
Photos courtesy of Fish Bar