Pier 81
New York City

In an attempt to make the most of our summer and the seemingly endless list of activities to do in NYC, my friends and I made a shared summer calendar this year. One of the items on it, which was suggested by Katie, was a free 45-minute cruise on the Hudson aboard the North River Lobster Company‘s boat, Destiny. They describe it as a “floating lobster shack”. It’s free to get on it, but they do expect you to spend all your money on drinks and food (of course). The Destiny sails only 5 times a day, but you can still board the boat and have all the cocktails and lobster rolls you want in between sailings. And on a day like this, I would say it totally would’ve been worth it even without the cruise, though that was certainly icing piled high on the cake.

We met up on a lovely Thursday evening, a bit sweaty from walking all the way from Times Square to Pier 81.

You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see this adorable wall of buoys.

Or, if it isn’t cruising, you might also spot their boat.

We started off with some lobster rolls (fresh poached Maine lobster with yuzu aioli on a brioche roll with homemade coleslaw), lobster cobb salads (frisee, chopped egg, bacon, cherry tomato, avocado dressing), wine, and “Fog on the Hudson” cocktails (Figenza Fig Vodka, Gin, Cranberry Juice, Muddled Lime, splash of 7 Up). I’m not usually a huge fan of lobster (I think they don’t taste like much of anything for something that’s deemed “fancy”), but the rolls came with huge meaty chunks, tasted fresh, and were flavored perfectly. The bun was one of those old-fashioned, soft and sweet types that go so well with the tang of aioli.

The chopped salad was only ok for me, but only because I abhor frisee and any bitter-tasting leafy vegetables. I thought the avocado dressing was inspired (I’m a big fan of cobb salads but think the avocado bits are annoying to eat), and as it was with the roll, the lobster was excellent. The “Fog on the Hudson” was described by Kim as “basically juice”, if I remember correctly. They certainly went light on the alcohol, but I thought it was refreshing, delicious, and sooo cute (seen in the background in the photo below).

After consuming and exclaiming over our first batch of food, we laid back a bit, had a few more drinks, and enjoyed the scenery.

After some boozing and much chatting, the sun started to set, which certainly added to our delight (although the wine and cocktails had pretty much done the job already before that).

I had a brief moment to capture the pier at night right before the boat started to sail.

And from then on it was just us, the cool breeze, a big plate of oysters, clams, and shrimps from the raw bar…

and the beautiful lights of New York City. (Oh, and there may have been a crowd of rowdy bachelorette party gals as well.)

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