Not sure how it has been for the rest of you, but here in NYC we have been suffering through a very cold Spring. I find myself wondering if I can ever shed my winter coat? But when I do, I know exactly where I am headed on the first warm Spring evening. I am going to let you in on the worst kept secret. It’s one of my absolute favorite neighborhood spots and it’s called the Grand Banks Oyster Bar. For the last two years this cod-schooner turned ultra chic raw bar has been docking at Pier 25 in Tribeca, and it is truly fantastic. Allow me to tell you all the reasons why.
The idea for this raw bar on the water came from the 18th century oyster barges which used to flood NY harbor, and Oyster Bay. Yes, that is where it got its name! Owners (and brothers) Alex and Miles Pincus wanted to bring that history back, with a floating oyster bar. Being life-long sailors, it only made sense to pair this passion for all things maritime with good food, and of course – oysters galore. Along with partners Adrien Gallo and Mark Firth, the Pincus brothers have brought together all of their restaurant and sailing expertise to create this perfect warm weather dining experience.
The next step was to find the perfect vessel, which they certainly did achieve with the 74-year old schooner called The Sherman Zwicker. Originally christened in 1942, this ship had a long life sailing from Maine to South American. The ship was restored for the Maine Maritime Museum, before making it to New York, to its current home, where the kitchen, headed up by Kerry Heffernan (an Eleven Madison Park alum), was outfitted in the old lodging quarters of the ship, and the deck turned into two fabulous bars, one for drinks, the other for all things raw.
What I love about this restaurant is that the ship is filled with history, but is also barging into a new era as the lovely seasonal restaurant, while still preserving it’s past. Grand Banks is partnered with the Maritime Foundation to hold exhibitions on board, and raise funds for other preservation projects. All of that, with an incredible view of my city. Afternoon cocktails and oysters on these hallowed decks feels almost like taking a tour around the harbor without ever leaving New York! It’s definitely a must do for your Summer line up. I’ll see you there.