Grand Banks

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
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Paul Wagtouicz

Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

The Montenegro Royale, Negroni Sbagliato and Engine Room at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Montenegro Royale at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Negroni Sbagliato at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Engine Room at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Dark and Stormy at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Baked oysters at Grand Banks

Paul Wagtouicz

Grand Banks


By the peak of summer even New York’s most venerable boat bars have become flooded with frat-tastic curios, all watered-down brews and Lonely Island references. This season, a new anchor drops in the Hudson, offering grown-up alternatives to that bustling sea of bros: Grand Banks, the historic schooner turned oyster bar captained by Mark Firth (Marlow & Sons). Bid farewell to plastic chairs and “I’m on a boat!” sing-alongs—it’s only smooth sailing from here.

ORDER THIS: Small plates outshine the cocktails, so pass on the lager-based Engine Room ($16), which hits too hard on the ginger. Instead, opt for a white-wine Sherman’s Cup ($16) with fresh berries. (Pro tip: Ask for the fruit muddled.) The waitstaff runs like a well-groomed crew, outfitted in navy striped shirts, delivering baked oysters in shallot marmalade ($18) and bacon-flecked fluke crudo ($17). 

GOOD FOR: Blowing out-of-towners out of the water. Though docked at amenity-rich Pier 25, the elegant Sherman Zwicker sits belowdeck for an out-to-sea feel, but with the glittering World Trade Center and spotlighted Statue of Liberty still in sight.

THE CLINCHER: Two brass-tapped bars flank the bow and mizzen-mast, offering prime seating even without reservations, while the yellow-and-white-striped awning and business-casual crowd hint at the Hamptons without diving deep into bourgie-dom. —Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

Venue name: Grand Banks
Address: Pier 25, West St at North Moore St
New York
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 3pm-11pm; Sat, Sun noon-11pm
Transport: Subway: 1 to Franklin St
Price: Average entree: $15. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Lisa R

What could be more magical on a balmy evening than bobbing on a boat, sipping cocktails and gazing at the Statue of Liberty? Grand Banks offers an ersatz Hamptons escape for landlocked New Yorkers without descending into full-scale douche-baggery. As an aficionado of umbrella drinks, I loved the Painkiller, a pina colada riff, though my BF would have preferred something stronger. Oysters (East and West Coast) were plump and creamy, but the lobster roll, packed into an average-size hotdog bun, didn’t measure up in size to its beach-resort equivalents. It was a tasty morsel, but the mountain of accompanying spiced potato chips didn’t quite compensate for the $25 price tag.