We’ve been eager to board the Sherman Zwicker at Pier 25 to try Grand Banks since it docked earlier this summer. The opening was July 3, a day before we were leaving on a 10 day vacation. So we saved it for the Friday after our return. And luckily that would be a ‘Summer Friday’ so getting there before the opening at 4pm was the plan. There was a nice line formed by 3:45 of course. And by 4:15 the bar was 4 deep and there wasn’t a seat available in the house.
The Sherman Zwicker is a wood Cod fishing vessel from the 1940’s that’s been converted into a sailing historical maritime museum. It sailed the Grand Banks and is now a New York restaurant by that name until October. It is docked on Pier 25 in Tribeca off North Moore Street. Here are a few pics before it was officially opened.
Grand Banks is the latest seafood restaurant from Mark Firth, formerly of Marlow & Sons and Diner fame. This explains the big draw. That and of course the hot new NYC trend of serving food on the water with the likes of North River Lobster Company at Pier 81 and The Water Table at Skyport Marina. Firth left the game to move out of the rat race, but now he’s back and on a boat, no less. Grand Banks is in essence an oyster bar with a very tight menu of cocktails and small plates. We had just about the entire menu in one shot and enjoyed it all save for the packed crowd of some pretty obnoxious ‘cool’ people. The kind that give us New Yorkers a bad name. But, all to be expected at any new hot spot with no reservations and limited space.
Grand Banks serves 5 cocktails and only those cocktails as approved by the Hudson River Park. Very interesting regulations to have zero diversion, but all nice cocktails. Steve had a version of the Gin Rickey, which we believe to be the Lime Bennett. I had the Sherman’s Cup, which was a white wine cocktail as well as a great play on the Negroni called the Sbagliato made with Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Prosecco instead of Gin. It was a far lighter cocktail and I found it the perfect sippable drink for baking on the deck in the hot sun.
Bring your sunscreen if you’d like to sit at the oyster bar. It is the only area of the deck in direct sun. And the bar is galvanized steel which really heats up. The larger bar is cocktails only. There are a good amour of tables in the shade for dining. We’d just baked in the sun for 10 days so we were fine with the oyster bar. But we saw several people get up and move.
We had the Squash Blossoms, Ceviche and the Crudo. The other two menu items are Baked Oysters and Arugula salad, so I think we make the right choices! All were quite gorgeous although we’d hoped the fluke crudo would be thinly sliced rather than chunks of fluke. We also had all of the oysters on the menu sans the Naked Cowboy. Mainly because they didn’t have the delivery quite yet and also because we’ve had them once or twice and been disappointed even though we love East Coast brine. So we had Rocky Reef, Black Duck Salt, Mermaid Cove and Kusshi, which were all great. We slurped them up quickly in that heat. They had plenty of ice covering hundreds of oysters. The shucker got slammed with every order on the ship at one time.
Overall we had a great time. We will try another time slot, preferable not Summer Friday Happy Hour. Considering how busy it was, our waitress (who is in the Oyster bar pic) was really on the ball and had a really great attitude.
Pier 25, Hudson River Park