The New York Times

Where to Eat, Unwind and Caffeinate Downtown During New York Fashion Week

Via The New York Times:

After shows at Chelsea Piers, head to this floating oyster bar on a restored 142-foot wooden sailboat docked at Pier 25. The freshly shucked mollusks, pulled from waters near and far, can be topped with red-wine or cucumber-coriander mignonettes and enjoyed with small plates (Maine lobster rolls, wild stripped bass ceviche) and tasty tipples, all while enjoying the salty breezes and views of the Hudson River.

A Negroni Summer

Via The New York Times, written by Alex Williams:

At the recent opening party for Grand Banks, a meticulously on-trend oyster bar on an old fishing schooner anchored at Pier 25 in Manhattan, all the colors of summer were on Technicolor display: the gold of the sunset, the steel-blue of the Hudson River and the red of the cocktails.
Yes, red. In every direction, partygoers fashionably clad in the season’s Vans slip-ons and Persol sunglasses could be seen sipping a fiery crimson Negroni, a bitters-based aperitif that is not only a signature cocktail of the restaurant, but also, it seems, of this summer itself.
“It’s like a pink polo shirt,” said Alex Pincus, an owner, who prowled the schooner’s decks that night, Negroni in hand. He explained further, “it’s sort of manly and colorful at the same time.”
Such enthusiasm for the Negroni is evident at craft cocktail bars, beach clubs and rooftop bars alike, where stylish tipplers have embraced this venerable Italian concoction as a latter-day Cosmo for the artisanal set.
The Negroni may look to the uninitiated like the stuff of Cancún spring-break frolics, with its Hawaiian Punch hue and festive shard of orange peel. But in classic form, it is a serious libation: a blend of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth with complex personality and unapologetic bitter finish that challenges you to love it.
The Negroni has also become a fashion statement of sorts for connoisseurs — a pledge of allegiance to la dolce vita, and a secret signal to fellow cognoscenti that you do not stoop to sozzle yourself in the fashion of the daiquiri-sipping masses.
Its nuance, in fact, is the basis of its charm, devotees say.

They’re on a Boat! Floating Restaurants Try to Redefine the Dinner Cruise

Cocktails include the Negroni Sbagliato and the Kona Swizzle.

Cocktails include the Negroni Sbagliato and the Kona Swizzle.

Via The New York Times:

The newest of the boat-restaurants does not actually leave the dock: Grand Banks, an oyster bar on the Sherman Zwicker, a 142-foot schooner tied up at the end of Pier 25 in the shadow of One World Trade Center in TriBeCa, will stay through October before it sails south.
With a capacity of 160 people, Grand Banks is envisioned as the Balthazar of boats, said Alex Pincus, who founded the Atlantic Yachting School on the Upper West Side with his brother, Miles, before selling it and founding Grand Banks with two other partners. Witness the $16 cocktails, the French bistro bar stools, the zinc and mahogany bars and the windswept patrons on a recent weekday afternoon, including the actress Marisa Tomei, ignoring the pitching waves.
The fashionable scene belied the travails below deck. “The challenge was not the idea,” Mr. Pincus said. “The challenge was making it happen.”

Three New York City Waterfront Hotspots This Summer

Via The New York Times:

One thing that Pier 25 lacked was Hamptons-worthy night life. That’s no longer the case with this month’s opening of Grand Banks, a seasonal oyster bar aboard the Sherman Zwicker, a historic 142-foot fishing schooner docked at the pier’s tip.
During a soft opening over the Fourth of July weekend, the schooner was packed with young professionals with Panerai wristwatches, pink polo shirts and box-fresh boat shoes, who chased down sustainably harvested oysters and fried squash blossoms with nautical-themed cocktails like the Engine Room (lager, aquavit, ginger, lemon). Also spotted were the fedora-and-tattoo types, perhaps lured by the Brooklyn bona fides of Mark Firth, a former owner of Marlow & Sons and Diner.
The owners insist that they were not looking to create a floating version of the meatpacking district.
“Up until about 1900, the entire downtown waterfront was surrounded by these little oyster barges, some guy selling oysters,” said Miles Pincus, another owner, sipping a negroni during the opening party last Thursday. “It was the everyday, common man’s food. It was not the elevated thing it is now. We thought, ‘Why does that not exist?' ”

Grand Banks to Offer Dining and a Raw Bar on a Tall Ship

Via The New York Times:

This seasonal raw bar and casual deck-side restaurant will be aboard the Sherman Zwicker, a 142-foot wooden fishing schooner docked at Hudson River Park Pier 25. The tall ship, built in 1942, has been restored and offers programs in ecology, New York Harbor history and seafood sustainability. It is run by the nonprofit Maritime Foundation, an educational group. Mark Firth, who was a founder of Diner and Marlow & Sons, is running the restaurant. The raw bar features a selection of East and West Coast oysters, plus light food like lobster rolls, crudo, heirloom tomato salad and sides like hush puppies. The food and cocktail menus change daily.

Now Docking Downtown: An Oyster Bar on a Boat

The restaurant's partners, from left: Adrien Gallo, Mark Firth, Miles Pincus and Alex Pincus.

The restaurant's partners, from left: Adrien Gallo, Mark Firth, Miles Pincus and Alex Pincus.

Via The New York Times:

For Alex Pincus, the question wasn’t whether Manhattan needed a floating oyster bar and mini-maritime museum on a 72-year-old codfish schooner, but rather where to put it. Now, his vision has become reality in the form of Grand Banks, which will begin serving food and drinks Thursday afternoon on a boat docked off Hudson River Park in TriBeCa.
Pincus, who grew up sailing on Lake Pontchartrain and founded the Atlantic Yachting school on the Upper West Side with his brother Miles, had been reading about the city’s 19th-century oyster barges a few years ago when the idea occurred to him to build a modern-day version. Piled high with just-dug Crassostrea virginica, says Pincus, the vessels would sell their wares to hungry New Yorkers directly from the docks. “We thought, ‘why don’t we have that here?'” he says of a conversation with Miles that followed. The two gathered their restaurant-industry friends — including Mark Firth, a co-founder of the Brooklyn restaurants Diner and Marlow & Sons and Adrien Gallo, a former owner of downtown bars including Palais Royale and Double Happiness — and “started looking around for the spot.”
That spot turned out to be the park’s Pier 25, where the partners have a yearlong lease to park a 142-foot-long Nova Scotian wooden fishing vessel called the Sherman Zwicker. (Tentative plans are to stay until fall, says Alex Pincus, and then sail down to Florida for the winter.)
The Sherman Zwicker was once the property of the Maine Maritime Museum, where four decades ago a sailor and nautical-history buff named George McEvoy (“the ultimate old soul,” says Pincus) lovingly restored it. As of last week McEvoy’s pride and joy — the last of its kind used to fish among the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and now the largest wooden vessel in New York City — was docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn. There the Pincuses and their partners hustled to outfit the kitchen (formerly bunks where sailors slept) and to prepare marine-education exhibits in the stalls where just-caught cod was once buried in salt for the trip to South America.
Above decks, they also built out two bars, one for drinks (such as daily nautical-themed cocktails and ales from Red Hook’s Other Half Brewing Company), and another topped with zinc for a rotating menu of sustainably sourced oysters. Those, as well as the rest of the Grand Banks menu — lobster rolls, small plates of seasonally and locally available seafood — will be overseen by Firth, who is also the owner of Prairie Whale restaurant in the Berkshires.
It was in those landlocked mountains, where both Firth and Alex Pincus had moved a few years back, that the seed for Grand Banks was first planted. The two men, old friends from the city, crossed paths at the gym and got to discussing how they shared both a love of the urban waterfront and a desire to connect the rest of the city to it. It was that conversation that spurred Pincus to research old New York’s oyster barges. Now, both are splitting their time between the boat and the Berkshires. “It’s kind of ironic that we had to move away,” says Firth, “to figure this out.”