RW at the Central Park Boathouse

After a lovely meal at the Modern the night before I woke up to a beautiful day of warm weather and bright sun. The humidity had finally dropped and it was actually bearable outside. I did a bunch of errands and then decided to walk through Central Park to my final destination the Boathouse.

I got into the park about 2:00 by the Plaza and my reservation wasn’t until 3:30. I thought I would walk up and see if I could get in early. Well that didn’t happen. A half hour later and I’m lost. Somehow I ended up going west when I thought I was going east. Then when I figured that out I ran into the bramble and got lost again. By the time I finally found the boathouse my feet were covered in dirt, my hair was drenched in sweat and I was right on time for my 3:30 reservation.

I had to wait a moment to be seated so I grabbed a glass of wine from the bar. Luckily I did because my server was pretty non-existent at first. I waited for a good 10- 15 minutes to place my order and I was starting to get antsy.

I had looked at the menu online before arriving but my petite filet mignon had been replaced by a Berkshire Pork Loin on the given menu. I wasn’t in the mood for pork, and eggplant isn’t my thing so I went for the only other choice the cod.

First things first though- the bread. They offered three different choices of bread one of which was a pretzel breadstick. I don’t usually see this in a bread basket so immediately I decided to try it out.

The breadstick was decent. I was hoping for a slightly saltier crisper outside but luckily the salt from the butter helped and I was happy with my choice.

For my first course I ordered the Sea Scallops Escabeche with Granny Smith apples, Valencia oranges and pea shoots.

The cold scallops and acidic oranges really refreshed my palette. This was a very light, summery dish perfect for dining on the water.

Unfortunately I had an extremely long wait between my appetizer and entrée. It seemed that everyone around me got entrées and desserts and I was still sitting there. Then I had flag down my waiter to even order another glass of wine. I guess they don’t like the solo diner here.

Here’s my entrée when it finally did arrive- Sautéed Chatham Cod with artichoke, mussels, farro, tomatoes, micro basil and roast garlic mussel jus.

I’m a little conflicted with this dish. The fish itself was cooked perfectly- moist and flaky with a delicious crunchy top. However the rest of the dish was just bad. First of all, if there were mussels in there they certainly hid from me because I never saw one. Second of all who wants all that farro? I felt like I was eating something a grandmother would make for her grandchildren. It was mushy, bland and just unappetizing. It’s too bad a perfectly cooked fish was ruined by the other elements.

For dessert I ordered the Chocolate- Caramelized Banana Cake with chocolate custard and peanut butter puree.

Everyone around me who ordered this dessert kept commenting on how rich it was. I had prepared myself to be too sugar filled to finish but I didn’t find it overly rich at all. The top of the cake was actually banana pieces covered in caramel and a dollop of chocolate pudding, while the bottom chocolate cake was actually pretty light and airy. The peanut butter puree was light as well and overall I enjoyed this dessert.

So my food was only so-so and my service was slow and scattered. It was funny being asked by everyone who worked there “Where are you from?”. What do you mean? New York of course! I forgot what a touristy place this would be. However I did enjoy the ambiance a LOT. It was so relaxing (once I got my food) to sit on the porch, watch the paddle boats and feel the warm breeze in the air. For that reason I would actually return here. Possibly even this summer. It truly is a beautiful place to enjoy a midday break.

So there you have it. I made it to four restaurant week meals this time around. Not too shabby! And now it's extended to Labor Day! Dare I try to fit some more in?

Central Park Boathouse