TravelNoise: North River Lobster Company, New York City
I can’t deny that living in New York City has an endless list of perks, mostly to do with food. You can find anything you’d like in the thousands of curated restaurants and at food trucks on every street corner. And though we love ourselves a good imported Kobe beef, there’s just something to be said about getting something fresh from, say, the coast. North River Lobster Company not only understands, but succeeds in offering up the freshest catch possible. All you have to do is head for the pier.
Found all the way west on the Hudson near 41st, you can find North River Lobster Company, which prides itself on being the city’s first casual three-story lobster shack that is both fresh and easy to afford. If that alone isn’t enough to make you jump for joy, then we’re not sure what will.
After purchasing the $10 ticket (the sailing fee) to board the boat on a humid summer night, my guest and I walked further down the pier before spotting the large restaurant-boat, a gorgeous white boat with red trim. We entered what looked like the second floor of the restaurant and walked upstairs to the top deck where almost every high-top and table was already taken. We weren’t sure where to start, so we just looked around to see if anyone would move, and thankfully one big four-seater opened up. We took it and settled in.
The place definitely resembles a shack with fishnets hanging over the lights and the interior decked out in old-washed wood. But a look at the menu suggested we might be in for some of the best seafood we’ve ever had. Focused, of course, on the seafood and broad enough in the cocktail area to satisfy any palate, we knew pretty quickly what we were going to start with: the Uptown Girl cocktail ($14), which included Stoli Peach Vodka, St. Germain, peach schnapps, white wine and pineapple and two orders of the peel-and-eat shrimp ($15.95).
Our friendly server arrived in a rush — the boat was packed with people and we knew our best bet was just to order as much as we could all at once. We gave him our drink and starter orders and decided simultaneously to split the New England Classic lobster roll ($22.95) and, obviously, the Captain’s Special Maine lobster ($38.00). Despite the crowd, the server returned in a flash with our drinks and shrimp. The cocktail was the perfect start to the evening — light, not too sweet and summery AF. The shrimp were, well, impossible to put down. The ½ lb. of those babies were slathered in a Cajun cocktail sauce, which ended up dripping all over us as we devoured them in a matter of minutes.
By the time we received our mains, we were so ready. The lobster roll was buttery and stuffed with fresh North Atlantic lobster. We could taste the yuzu aioli, which gave the sandwich a really nice touch. But we know what you’re interested in, and it’s that killer special Maine lobster. The 1 ¼ lb. lobster was laid out before us accompanied by half-ears of Long Island sweet corn, roasted red bliss potatoes, garden vegetables, melted herbed butter and lemon wedges. We received bibs and crackers for the claws and went in. The lobster was juicy and tasted like it was just caught. We finished it while circling the Statue of Liberty in the boat, a view absolutely unmatched by any other. Combining a gorgeous sunset cruise with the best lobster I’ve ever had, I can confidently say the night was bliss.
If you’re in the city over the summer/autumn and you want something you know is fresh, North River Lobster Company has your back. I can’t say for sure that I wasn’t still speechless after leaving the boat. There’s just something to be said about the view of the New York skyline in the distance with buttery lobster on your plate. That something should translate to: I need to live here.
Address: 12th Ave & W 41st St, New York, NY 10036
Telephone Number: (212) 630-8831