The Boathouse - Central Park: Express Cafe

One these past Saturday afternoons we ended up on the Upper West Side. It was about lunch time but the weather was so nice and we were right by the Central Park we decided to take a walk across the Park to the East Side. It seemed like every person with a child or a dog was out enjoying the spring weather in the Park. We continued our leisurely walk towards the Turtle Pond and the Belvedere Castle. Once we started to walk down the East drive we could already smelled that delicious aroma of the cheeseburgers and hot dogs so we didn't think about it too long before we managed to get a table on the deck of the Boathouse. The outside grill hasn't been opened yet for the season so we just went to the Express Cafe to get our food.

It seemed that a lot of Central Park volunteers and the bird-watchers were out that day so we had to wait quiet a bit on the line to order our food. The Boathouse itself and the bar area in the front area were both packed with tourists and New Yorker doing brunch with their mimosas in their hands. We managed to get our hot dogs, cheeseburger, fries and Stella Artois with about fifteen minute wait chatting with the volunteers. You learn so much when you just start talking to people around you...

While we enjoyed our meal there was a constant supply of tourist coming to the deck in search of waterside tables. Our meal was pretty good but we both had much better burgers, hot dogs or fries elsewhere. Then again you come to the Boathouse not just enjoy the meal but also take in the location and the surroundings. I don't think there is any other restaurant in Manhattan can offer you a similar ambiance specially when you choose to eat burgers and friends out on the deck, what a value for $25 for two! The only minus was the group of obnoxious people at a near table playing around with their dogs and smoking like a chimney. I guess you can't have it all but they didn't bother us too much, right after we finished our meal we went to get our own paddleboat and sailed to the open waters to enjoy the view and quiet.

We ate at the Boathouse before and they always gave us a satisfying dining experience. Yes, the prices could sometime be high but then again you are paying for the whole package. I highly recommend taking a gondola ride under the starts after your dinner, specially if you never been on one. It's not as good as riding one in Venice but so much better than the ones in Las Vegas. Night time rides are much better because you don't have all the paddleboats around so you can really enjoy the serenade. Remember to kiss under the bridge. Ciao!

Pros: Location and the ambiance. Great food and wine selection. Excellent service.
Cons: Can Be Pricey. Hard to get reservations near the window.

The Boathouse - Central Park: Express Cafe
Cuisine: American
Phone: (212) 517-2233


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