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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Margarittaville Comes To Roosevelt Island - Pier NYC Waterfront Restaurant Opens This Weekend, Reviews Are In And They Are Good

Image Of Roosevelt Island Pier NYC

First full day of operations for Roosevelt Island's Pier NYC waterfront restaurant was yesterday. I went in the early evening, had a brisket sandwich from John Brown's Smokehouse and enjoyed the fantastic views, cool breeze and cold beer.

The brisket sandwich was good and I am looking forward to returning. Glad to see that more umbrellas were added covering the tables for protection from the brutally hot sun and the porta potties were moved away from the tables to the area closer to the subway vent shaft.

Here's what Pier NYC looked like last night

and some reviews from first day customers.

From Westviewer:
I just had a great crabcake there!

I was led to a table and was offered only the Santos Seafood Shack menu, which was okay with me this time, since I knew ahead of time what I wanted, but what if I also wanted some BBQ? Did I miss something? Is it possible to have, say, a half-dozen clams followed by some BBQ, served at the same table by the same person? Or, is it possible to just go up to the seafood prep area and order yourself? I know this is the first day and all of this will fall into place, but right now, it's a bit confusing. Is it one restaurant or two? What is the overlap?
and bakgwallo:
So, I will start this by saying it was overall -very- positive. Both my wife and I enjoyed the new place very much. However, I do want to give a fully objective review, so let's start it off.

Our first impressions were great - the greater/wait-staff (especially our waitress) were excellent. The environment/table setup/etc were top notch. The only detraction I might have from the atmosphere was the music - both of us actually liked the selection, but I could see where it might be too loud/new for an older crowd (note that I think it would be fine/perfect for after dark, though, if you are going for the kind of party/dance idea). Table was clean, views are great, the breeze off the water with the lovely umbrella thing really took away from the heat.

For food, we both got the BBQ. I had the pulled pork and she had the brisket. I would preface this and say that I like vinegar based pulled pork and not tomato based. However, I felt that the first half of my sandwich was good, but the latter half was mainly fat (again, some actually like that). We both also agreed that an option to either have it on a roll (as opposed to the white/wonder bread) would have been awesome. Also, perhaps allowing it to be on the side would also be good. The brisket was decent, but, as the better half said, it could be great if it was made with a little more 'love'. All of that said, I was a bit disappointed in the BBQ, although I have never found a really good BBQ place in Manhattan yet, as compared to Texas, Tennessee, Virgina, NC, and even my home town in Boston, so it seems to be a Manhattan thing, lol!

The drinks were pretty good. We originally started with Margaritas. I had a strawberry which was decent. My wife ordered a normal one which (she wanted me to point this out) was pretty bad. It seemed like something was missing in it. However, she switched to a mimosa, and then we both started on strawberry daiquiris which were amazing (note that it was about 100 degrees out and I was with the better half, so I do not feel so bad to order such a fruity drink). I did originally want a Mai Tai which is not served, so I would like to add that a Mai Tai would be -perfect- for the location on the river, lol. I would also like to add that Caipirinhas and Mojitos would be great additions, too.

We finished things off with a few deserts which were very good. In short, we started a bit disappointed but left very happy. Next time, I think we will try the crab cakes/items off the 'normal' menu, as I bet they are a bit better. The only real disappointment for me was the BBQ, which I again stress that I have not found really anywhere here anyways, and I believe it could be pretty easily improved with the above suggestions; my wife's was the Margarita, which is a really easy fix. Overall though, we really loved the place, atmosphere, drinks and desert and we plan on visiting often and left happy and impressed. So, thank you for giving us a nice lunch/afternoon date on the island! Also, hopefully after this we still have that invite for the roof top parties, lol!

Now, all that said - is there any plans on a happy hour ;)
Westviewer adds:
I can't comment on the barbecue, since I didn't have any, but I did think the music was too loud, although my opinion needs to be taken with a grain of salt, since I am one of the "older crowd", I guess)  and I've never liked music in restaurants, even when I was in my twenties.  I don't see why the happy babble of contented diners isn't enough background sound for any restaurant.  No music choice is going to please everyone, and you go to a restaurant to eat and presumably converse with your companions.  Music doesn't help with either goal, and if the music displeases, or is too loud for comfort, actually interferes with both.
Bakgwallo returned to Pier NYC Today for more. According to Bakgwallo:
As an update to my first review - went back today again. This time we tried the crab cake sandwich and it was really good... kind of want to have another one already, lol! Drink were good and service was good again, pretty impressed on the second go. Will try the BBQ again someday- but the crab cakes and the other menu are great for me.
Westviewer, my understanding is that for now, John Brown Smokehouse BBQ will not be on the Pier NYC paper menu but all you have to do is go to the carving area and order the BBQ. As for music, how about some atmospheric Margarittaville beach music from Jimmy Buffet

or just Sitting At The Dock Of The Bay with Otis Redding.

It's going to be a fun Roosevelt Island summer.


janeod said...

We hit Pier NYC up on Saturday afternoon. Service was great and the drinks (also had frozen strawberry daiquiris) were very nice. We enjoyed the ceviche as well as sandwiches from the BBQ counter. (Brisket was OK, but the burnt ends were amazing.)

As for atmosphere, the view was wonderful and the layout of the space was very comfortable, but the music was a bit of a drawback. We went in the mid-afternoon, and it was a bit loud - more like a club. And it was a pretty weak selection of top 40 pop dance remixes. Some variety would be more interesting. They do a good job of mixing it up at the Riverwalk bar, for example.In all, super excited to have this option on the island. I will be returning frequently, and I expect that it will just keep getting better. I hope it brings more people across to our beautiful island. I do think $8 for a can of beer is bonkers though.

Westviewer said...

There should be some coordination between the seafood and the barbecue.  I know that they are two different businesses, but to the customer, it's one restaurant and it is odd to have waiter service for what seems to be part of the menu and walk-up yourself for another.   

mpresident said...

I had the opposite opinion of Pier NYC - it really was a disappointment. I had a strawberry margarita and my friend had a strawberry daiquiri - they both tasted good, but for $12, they didn't have much alcohol. My husband had the regular Margarita (which we are pretty sure was just tequila and crushed ice) - the best value if you are looking for a buzz, but tasted terrible. I really wanted a mojito and couldn't understand why they don't serve them.

Another big disappointment on the 100 degree day was that you had to pay for water. Thankfully, my waiter hooked me up with a cup of ice for free.

As a vegetarian, I cannot comment on the food except to say I wish there was an option for me. I sat and ate a cookie (very big and very good) while my husband ate the brisket, which I was told was good. It took us a while to figure that you had to go up and order the BBQ.

In terms of service, it was about average for an opening day (and I'm still very thankful for the ice).

In the end, I guess I was looking for a good drink outside, and this was not the place to find it. I think I'd have been better off sitting outside at Riverwalk or making my own drinks and sitting on my balcony.

Trevre Andrews said...

Seriously $6-12 drinks in plastic cups?  The view is good, but you get the same thing 50 feet down the walkway, on top of a roof deck (where I can entertain half a dozen people for that price), from the tram, or at RW.  Only completely idiotic liquor laws hold some back from BYOB to the grass.  Give us a $20 pitcher/bucket of beer or sangria and I will be your greatest defender, until then I am redirecting guests to Manhattan.  Oysters were great. 

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

We brought in John Brown Smokehouse and he wanted to do his own seperate thing as a vendor. From the business end (sale tracking, taxes, etc) it was too difficult for us to keep it all under one roof since he was adamant about being separate.  The only way to maintain order was to still do table service for our stuff (seafood, drinks, etc) and have customers go up to him to get BBQ and bring it to their table.

Janet Falk said...

Today, Monday, my lunch companion and I split the brisket and burnt ends sandwiches. They were both very good, but I can't say as I noticed much difference between them. I think a roll instead of bread would be better.  Glad to see the umbrellas out there for those who are careful of overexposure to the sun.

Before we sat down, Jonathon recommended the smoked turkey, but at 1:00 pm there was none. Did they run out already or there simply wasn't any today?

I'll go back to try it another time.

Mark Lyon said...

Maybe offering a "food court" sort of experience might be more consistent (and save on employee expense) and transparent to the customer.  You could still have someone circulate to handle refills and requests, but make the expectation more of ordering from one area and taking it to your desired spot?

Though Atomic Wings / Blue Room manages to pull off the "single server, two places" system reasonably well.  You just end up paying two tabs at the end of the night.

Dottie Jeffries said...

RI Pier NYC needs to seize the opportunity at hand. The food and service needs to be stellar. Strive to be a destination dining spot. 

Anonymous said...

When I was seated at a table. AND given a menu it was Only for drinks AND seafood. I Did Not know nor Did THE waitess Tell me anything about the. John Brown stand. I Just though This was all They had. It would have been Nice if THE Girl. Seating me would Have told me about THE John Brown food

Anonymous said...

Why would she tell you about the john Brown stand. She work for the 3 guys from river walk bar and grill they want people to. Buy food from them. Not john Brown

Oblomova said...

All these people do is MONOPOLIZE. Is it legal for them to STEAL water from across Main street, from the fire hydrant on the grass? I noticed they pulled a hose from it across, over sidewalk-street-sidewalk to their business last night and used the fire hydrant water for their business. If I did this PSD would give me a ticket ASAP but if course, the bribing and workings of these monopolizes shush both rioc and psd. I'm 100% it is NOT legal to use fire hydrant wanter for private business!!! And they actually STEAL it since they didn't pay for time I see that hose connected I'm calling 311. The food trucks pay to be here, while the entire city charges ONCE for food truck permits. This is done because these monopolizes work hand in hand with RIOC. RIOC does everything to discourage other businesses to be here so all the food purchases go to the 3 crappy food establishment owen by the same Italian ex-cops, probably Guerra's best friends. All one has to do is take a look around and these issues become quite obvious. I was going to get arrested for take my groceries out of the car trunk while the driver was in the car but it's ok to steal from the fire hydrant for business use. Yes, this is how things go around here, the corrupt holding hands.

RooseveltIslander said...

 Does a person's ethnicity have anything to do with who owns what establishment? I don't think so. I would appreciate it if you rephrase that portion of your comment so that the thread does not degenerate into personal insults.

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

Sooo many inaccuracies in this post not to mention  outright racism. Anyone else care to comment on this before I light this lady up?

Oblomova said...

Well, well, sorry about that, took the comment down, I apologize but I'm also VERY afraid you are going to "light me up". I've got 2 kids I would like to see grow up. I am so scared right now, will never leave my apartment.

Anonymous said...

O, although I believe myself to be reasonably intelligent, I'm bored. Sso I will devolve myself to say simply, you're a douche.

siscoeb said...

I had a wonderful time at the waterfront restaurant---The crab cake was excellent

siscoeb said...

 If you don`t like it here MOVE---The only thing crappy here is your words

Salvatore Anthony Hoo said...

I am glad to hear that.

Dan Nitescu said...

 Forget about plastic cups and outrageous drink prices !
After you are served, a guy in a red shirt comes at your table  several times and while you are enjoying the food and try to forget the $8.00 you paid for the beer,  wipes clean your table maneuvering a wet piece of dirty rug between whatever is left in front of you.