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NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that the fun has to be, and dining has never been so much fun as when getting there is a part of the experience. So be it ferry, water taxi or your own yacht providing transportation to your dining destination, TravelsinTaste has rounded up several of the most mouthwatering waterside restaurants in Manhattan.
Riverpark, at 450 East 29th St. near Manhattan's East River (212-729-9790), is just a few blocks from the East River Ferry's 34th St. Midtown stop. With two gorgeous outdoor spaces and a farm-fresh menu by chef Sisha Ortuzar, it's an ideal place to soak in the early days of fall. And what better way to get there than by boat?
"Manhattan is surrounded by water, and yet the waterfront is surprisingly underdeveloped. Being this close to the water gives you the feeling of being somewhere else, even just for a couple of hours. The river views add a laid-back atmosphere to our restaurant, which also translates to our food," Ortuzar says.
When Michael "Buzzy" O'Keeffe launched culinary mecca the River Cafe in 1977, it was in a desolate area of Brooklyn. Now it's a stop on any gourmand's culinary tour and proud to boast that no other U.S. restaurant has produced as many world-class chefs, including Larry Forgione (of An American Place, father of
Iron Chef Marc Forgione), Charlie Palmer (
of Charlie Palmer Steak), David Burke (who's behind a bevy of Burke restaurants, including
David Burke townhouse), Rick Laakkonen (of Jake's Steakhouse) and Brad Steelman. With views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty, there is no better way to enjoy a meal of American- and International-inspired modern cuisine. Dining here you can see why this restaurant was a catalyst for the redevelopment of the Brooklyn waterfront. It's at 1 Water St., Brooklyn (718-522-5200), but if you'd like to see its vegetable garden, take the IKEA NY Water Taxi to Red Hook.
Not satisfied with the overwhelming success of the River Cafe, O'Keeffe opened The Water Club in 1982. This restaurant with classic American fare offers a seasonal rooftop bar called The Crow's Nest, three private party rooms and a lounge with nightly piano music. The views are spectacular. Take the East River Ferry to the 34th St./Midtown stop and stroll down East River Between 29th and 32nd streets in New York (212-683-3333).
The West Side Boat Basin Cafe is more of a casual outdoor restaurant in Riverside Park, at the end of 79th Street on the Hudson River. Its patio overlooks a marina and offers breathtaking views of the river and New Jersey. If you want to dock your boat here -- so you can dine watching the sun set and the stars fill the sky over New Jersey -- call the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation's Marine Division at 212-496-2105. The cafe is at W. 79th St. at the Hudson River.
Brooklyn Crab, in Brooklyn's trendy Red Hook neighborhood, is a restaurant reflecting the inhabitants' passions: fishing, family and seafood. Guests can nibble on delights from the extensive raw bar while overlooking New York Harbor from one of two decks and savoring seafood from the tip of the Atlantic down to the Gulf of Mexico. Not a seafood lover? There are enough offerings to please the vegetarian and the carnivore. The IKEA NY Water Taxi stops just a few blocks away from the 24 Reed St. restaurant. (718-643-2722)