'Tis the season!
No, we're months away from the holiday season (which is an excellent thing considering our wallets couldn't handle the copious gift budget), but we're rapidly approaching the season of fine weather and waterfront dining.
Our city is surrounded by bodies of water, which means that the places where you can dine or drink while taking in aquatic views are plenty.
Instead of hitting the same old ragged dive, why not hit up these spots for some exceptional food, second only to their unbeatable views?
Now here are the 10 best waterfront restaurants in New York City.
The River Café (1 Water Street - Brooklyn)
Looking for a little romance on the water? Make a reservation for The River Café, and treat your special someone to unbeatable views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Once you get over the phenominal views, dig into the creative and delicious cuisine at The River Café. Whether you're interested in a celebratory breakfast with a "Gruyère Popover," brunch with a "Crisp Duck Egg," lunch with "Wagyu Steak Tartare," or dinner with "King Salmon," you're in for a treat.
il Fornetto (2902 Emmons Avenue - Brooklyn)
The Italian cuisine at il Fornetto is only second to the views of Sheepshead Bay... and that's a very close second. The food at il Fornetto is delicious. You cannot leave without trying a pizza from their wood-fired oven... especially because il Fornetto translates to "little oven."
Once you've had either their Margherita, Funghi, or Cappo pizza, indulge in their "Branzino," or wood oven baked whole mediterranean sea bass with lemon, fresh herbs, and vegetable giambotta.
Maiella (4610 Center Blvd - Queens)
If you're near the now-landmarked Coca-Cola sign in Long Island City, you're also in walking distance to some of the best food in Queens. Maiella has a lock down on excellent views, service, and delicious food. Just head right behind the Coca-Cola sign in Hunters Point.
Start with the burrata (who can say no to buratta?) for creamy mozzarella with sundried tomato, pine nuts, basil, and prosciutto. Then nosh on the "Costola Corta," or braised short rib over polenta.
Fornino (Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park - Brooklyn)
After you work up an appetite on the water or just checking out the new marina in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, you'll want to head towards the Pier 6 and grab a delicious pizza from Fornino's Brooklyn Bridge Park location.
Apart from the delicious food, Fornino has a great rooftop to lounge and check out views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and lower Manhattan.
Grand Banks (Pier 25)
What's better than slurping down decadent oysters while floating along the Hudson River under the spring or summer sun? Uh, maybe slurping down oysters while floating along the Hudson with a beer in your hand. That's why you need to hit up Grand Banks.
Not a fan of oysters? Don't worry. Grand Banks has plenty of small plates sans oysters (or even sans seafood in general) for you to snack on while watching a colorful NYC sunset.
Try the Asparagus with smoked duck breast, hard cooked eggs, and toasted panko topped with a blood orange and yogurt dressing.
Riverpark (450 East 29th Street)
Looking for a fancy dinner along Kip's Bay? Just try celebrity chef Tom Colicchio's restaurant, Riverpark. Along with the innovative, exceptional food that awarded Colicchio a revered place in the food industry, you'll have unimpeded views of the East River.
Make sure to get a reservation for a table outside near the water for the perfect setting for a romantic meal. Try the Spice Brûléed Hamachi, with baby carrots, yuzu, enoki mushrooms, kohlrabi, sesame seeds, and basil, before the Fazio Farm Rabbit.
Blue (1115 Richmond Terrace - Staten Island)
For some of the best sunsets in NYC, you need to head to Staten Island... seriously. Make a reseravtion for Blue for a dinner right on the water. Just be sure to get there around sunset so you can watch as the sky light up.
Start with the grilled octopus with a lemon-parsley dressing over a small salad of Kalamata olives, roasted peppers, mint, and endive. Then try the slow-roasted lamb shank with herbs and crushed tomatoes over a cheese risotto.
Frying Pan (Pier 66)
Ever want to have a meal on a historic vessel that was designated as an historic site? Just head out to the Frying Pan, which is permanently docked at Pier 66. Before your meal, grab a bucket of coronas for your group and take in the beautiful sites.
Then try the "Chilled Lobster Salad," with steamed lobster claw meat, lemon zest, sea salt, mayo, greens, grilled corn, artichoke hearts, red onion, cucumber, and grape tomatoes in a champagne vinaigrette.
Fish Bar (Pier 81 at 41st Street)
If you haven't heard of Fish Bar at North River Landing yet, you need to. It's a new seafood lounge and rooftop floating along the Hudson River while you dine on exceptional cuisine. The 6,000 square foot dining room and 3000 square foot outdoor top deck will give you incredible views both inside and out.
We're loving the black truffle burrata with heirloom tomato and balsamic glaze. We're also ordering the pate dish, complete with smoked salmon, pate de Campagne, chicken pate, vegetable pate, dijon mustard, and figs.
La Marina (348 Dyckman Street)
La Marina has been a waterfront staple for NYC for almost two centuries. Situated at the end of Dyckman Street, the newly renovated La Marina is serving up some of NYC's favorite dishes and cocktails in a hip setting right on the waterfront.
We're digging the Ahi Tuna Poke with marinated yellowfin, aged soy, mirin, toasted sesame, and shiso cress. Then, we're definitely going for the La Marina Brisket... yup, we're getting a land lover item at a seafood joint. Why? Their brisket is cooked for sixteen hours. Absolutely mouthwatering.[Feature Image Courtesy Dining Out]