First Impressions: Grand Banks

Grand Banks barGrand Banks, the raw bar (and more) on the Sherman Zwicker schooner docked at Pier 25, is magical. I honestly can’t remember a more delightful dining experience in the area.

You board via the gangplank nearest West Street and hope you can score a seat at the main circular bar, smaller oyster bar, or the tables along each side. (To the woman who told me the stool next to hers was reserved: Grow up.) I went last night at 5:30 p.m., and there were various options available; as the evening went on, things got busier. I sat at the oyster bar, which suited me fine. Grand Banks doesn’t take reservations, but you can leave your phone number to be texted when a table is ready.

Last night was sticky and still in most of Tribeca, but at Grand Banks there was a lovely breeze. The boat rocks quite a bit, which you may or may not enjoy. (I loved it.) The service was warm, with zero of the attitude you might fear from a place with this much style. I ordered one of each of the four types of oyster and a Narragansett beer, which came in a can with no offer of a glass. Right now, the food is more suitable as nibblybits than a meal (the menus are below), but I understand that the more extensive food service kicks off this Thursday.

A caveat: On Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the fitnesswear brand Lolë is running free classes directly across from the boat on Pier 25, with loud dance music and amplified instructors (“Work those hip flexors, people!”). Perhaps Lolë will try pointing the speakers north.

Grand Banks is at the southern end of Pier 25 (at Harrison St.) in Hudson River Park; 212-960-3390; It’s open weekdays 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends noon to 11 p.m.

Grand Banks from pierGrand Banks tablesGrand Banks oystersGrand Banks oysters shelledGrand Banks sternGrand Banks prowGrand Banks Sherman ZwickerGrand Banks from waterGrand Banks menu oystersGrand Banks menu small platesGrand Banks menu drinksRecent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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  1. The red snapper ceviche was great. Loved sitting up on the bow the other evening – I like how they give you free reign on the boat.

  2. So happy and proud to see ” the lady ” doing so well. I am familiar with the Zwicker ,it was here in the Maritimes for Tall Ship Festivals . Amazing history and stories attached to her. I will be in New York in the Fall, and hope to visit. June Mclennan , New Brunswick, Canada

  3. Great going, guys!
    Joe and I can’t wait to visit the new ship.
    What a terrific idea you had.
    Rosemary James