Greedy Girl has pretty much lost count of how many movies and TV shows she’s seen that feature the Boathouse in Central Park. Having sworn off restaurants (no matter who the chef) in tourist traps, it was with a little trepidation that she booked a table for two for an early dinner.

The dining room is at the eastern end of the main lake. On a pleasant evening, some rowboats were still out in force. Later, the gondola appeared. If taking a buggy ride through the park is the ultimate tourist experience, this would be a close second. Anyway, to the restaurant itself. The main floor is huge and, as you’d expect, very well lit. Greedy Girl was squinting markedly until the awnings were lowered.

It’s not a place to have a leisurely dinner. Tables, especially those for two, were turned over at a rapid rate. Ordering a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, we were slightly alarmed with the very rapid frequency our glasses were topped up. Greedy Girl needed some food.

Gluttonous husband, as is his wont, asked our waiter what the specialty of the house was. And here it is: crab cake (pictured at the top of this post). This is all killer, no filler. The crab cake was a sumptuous jumbo patty of flaked, soft crab with none of the usual padding you would commonly experience. It was served with a cucumber salad and caper sauce remoulade. Gluttonous husband savoured every mouthful.

Greedy Girl went for yellowfin tuna tartare. This was certainly a very attractive-looking plate. It was lovely tuna but Greedy Girl estimates the version she had at Wild Edibles had more flavour. It was served with coleslaw, a black garlic and sesame crisp and a sticky sauce. The waiter said it was a reduction of soy, ginger and marsala. Greedy Girl felt it overpowered the tuna but gluttonous husband enjoyed it.

Boathouse in Central Park

Yellowfin tuna tartare

And to so mains. Gluttonous husband went for a special – striped sea bass with a mango and pineapple salsa and pumpkin puree. This was a reasonably strong-flavoured fish which was served as a fillet, with crispy skin. Gluttonous husband enjoyed both the salsa and the puree, saying both these items worked well with the fish.

Boathouse in Central Park

Striped sea bass

Greedy Girl decided she’d go for a strip steak, ordering it medium rare. There is a note on the restaurant menu that advises patrons to order meats done medium, due to the risk of food poisoning for what they term ‘undercooked’ dishes. Standard boilerplate in this litigious society, perhaps. This was a huge serving. Greedy Girl eyed it warily but picked up the ‘Crocodile Dundee’-sized knife and proceeded to attack it. She failed miserably. The meat had been cooked to an almost well done level and was as tough as a tyre tread. The dish went back to the kitchen and was speedily replaced. Greedy Girl assumes it was an order for another table that had not long gone on the grill. The steak has more texture than cuts such as fillet and it had a vein of fat running through that needed to be cut out. Having said that, it had plenty of flavour and was coupled with a particularly delightful mushroom compote. The plate could have used a bit more jus though.The baby carrots were tender, although Greedy Girl didn’t get into the mashed potato. She’s not fond of chewing her mash – and the use of the potato skin in this version made it very chewy.

Boathouse in Central Park

Strip streak

Asking to finish our champagne before we ordered dessert immediately had the waiter reaching for the bottle to fill up the glasses. We’d not quite drained them when we ordered the truffle cake with chocolate sorbet to share – it too arrived very speedily. The cake was quite moist but the best thing about this plate was the sorbet, which was dark, bitter and luscious. We didn’t dally over this; the serving went down the hatch.

Boathouse in Central Park

Truffle cake with chocolate sorbet

We paid the bill and headed for the park’s nearest exit, on 5th Avenue and started walking back to the subway and head home.

The standard of food here was quite reasonable (little glitches aside) and it’s certainly a very pleasant place to sit. Despite being large, it was easy to carry on a conversation and the aspect was enjoyable. In a city noted for fine dining, this was probably ‘fast’ rather than ‘fine’. Still, you could do a lot worse.

The Boathouse in Central Park

(The Loeb Boathouse)

East 72nd Street & Park Drive North, New York

Lakeside Restaurant - The Loeb Boathouse Central Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tagged under: , , , , , , ,