North River Lobster Company, is it worth the hype?
It feels like we’ve spent weeks now hearing about North River Lobster Company in conversation after conversation. Everyone we know is planning a birthday party or a happy hour event at this place this summer. North River has actually been on our radar here at New York Buzz Blog for a few months now, as we’ve kept meaning to make the visit to check it out, and this past weekend we finally did.
Thanks to the careful planning of a friend, we arrived before opening time (11:30am) to get in line to board the boat. Upon arrival, there was already a small crowd of people waiting for the velvet ropes to be lifted to board. As we waited, the line kept growing. Finally, at 11:35am, the ropes were lifted and 15 people were allowed on. Thankfully, we were in that first group.
We boarded the boat and headed straight up to the 3rd floor deck to grab a table that was both in the shade and in the sun (we had a mixed group of sun seekers and sun burners). After snagging our table we headed straight to the bar to order lunch and drinks. A nice thing about the boat is that there are 3 decks with a bar on each one to order from. After placing our orders we were given a number and our drinks and told to go back to our table to wait for the delivery of our food. Based on Yelp reviews, we were prepared and expecting to settle in for a bit of a wait on the food but were pleasantly surprised by the promptness of it’s delivery, within 10 minutes of ordering.
Suddenly our table was covered with chowders, and shrimp po’boys, and lobster cobb salads and we attacked them all like savages. After fully attacking our food we realized we were still short one guest in our party and as the time inched closer to 12:30pm, we hoped she’d make it in time for the boat to set sail on it’s 30 minute cruise along the Hudson River. Yes, throughout the day, the North River Lobster Company and the boat it’s on actually set’s sail for short boat rides on the river.
Finally we received a text from our friend that said she was still waiting on line to board the boat and we were struck with a bit of confusion & irritation as we realized that the lower 2 decks were actually pretty empty and yet there was a huge line of people waiting to board the boat but no one actually boarding. The only thing we could think of was that perhaps they were trying to control the number of orders going into the kitchen by controlling the number of people aboard the boat. Very strange.
Thankfully, our final guest made it on the boat before it set sail, as part of another small group of 20 that was allowed past the ropes. As our entire party settled in to enjoy the afternoon with more drinks, we reflected on the experience.
1. It really is a beautiful setting, the boat is very nice and clean and actually quite large
2. The food & drinks are fantastic, the lobster is SOOOO fresh, and we didn’t get a chance to try to the raw bar but definitely plan to in the future
3. If you get there promptly when the restaurant opens, you’re golden, otherwise you’re out of luck and can plan to wait in line for quite a while
4. The line system for boarding the boat does not make much sense and makes us very curious about what it’s like to try to get on board after work for happy hour
5. A lobster boat is no place for a velvet rope and the type of exclusivity this place seems to be pushing for, the messages are mixed
6. We would still come back, but probably only early on a weekend again or once the entrance system gets worked out
The North River Lobster Company is located at Pier 81 off of the West Side Highway and the boat set’s sail every few hours throughout the day and you should check the website for exact times.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 11:55 am and is filed under Food, Other Musings..., Public Relations, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.