I pulled off a miracle.
It’s mid-September on a Thursday and in typical husband style, I procrastinated to the very end to plan my 3rd year wedding anniversary celebration with my wife.
We dressed up, dumped the baby off to her grandmother, and raced over to try to make the most out of the evening without a dinner reservation.
Apparently, you can just jump on a yacht without a cover and have dinner. It’s just like a restaurant that just so happens to float away at 6:30pm (and they are serious about that 6:30pm time – they WILL leave you).
However, priority goes to those responsible adults who actually make reservations. The host was probably the best part of the visit. He explained that if a couple was a “no show,” we could get their table. We waited at the lounge in the lower level and hoped they fell prey to mid-town traffic.
We relaxed by the bar and got a great feel for the lounge. Our worst case scenario was that we could just order food from the bar and take pictures on the deck. Luckily, John (I hope that’s his name) came down and escorted us to our table. I felt like I had just won the damn lotto.
LOCATION ——> https://hudsonsnyc.com/
Pier 81, W 41st St and 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
You should already get an idea of what to expect just by the address.
Get ready to get stuck in traffic. You are making a mistake if you’re driving to this place.
Take a cab or something and LEAVE EARLY.
GET THERE ON TIME!
The people running the show here seem motivated and WILL leave you.
People: the people there were a collection of couples and small groups. The couples look like they were either on their first date or married tourists. The small groups looked like they were celebrating someone’s birthday. The age ranged from people in their 30’s – 50’s. The crowd wasn’t too stuffy here, nor did we have to deal with any obnoxious or loud individuals.
For a Thursday, all the dinner tables seem filled except for the one or two couples that were “no shows.” The lounge on the lower level had 2 parties and a few couples that seemed more interested in the wine/liquor.
Dress: Business casual. Most of the men wore casual jackets, a button down shirt and nice looking pants. Women wore dresses. I don’t know how women keep their balance on the boat with heels but I would advise wearing flats.
Music: During the dinner time, they’ll play toned down, remixed versions of top 40 songs and classics. It’s almost a weird electro-jazz-pop thing, but it works. It wasn’t corny. When the boat docks at the end of the dinner portion, that’s when they’ll turn it into a top 40 playlist club/lounge with a mix of Pop, Reggae Dancehall, Soca (yeah I was surprised too), Spanish sounding stuff, Motown, and 90’s HipHop and today’s HipHop/Rap (censored of course).
As for sound quality (I’m a bit of a audiophile), the overall EQ was great. The bass was full, crisp highs, no distortion and loud enough to dance during the club hours. Whoever set this place up knew what they were doing and the DJ pulled the most out of the system without making us deaf.
Scenery: Simply amazing. Your typical water stuff with the Manhattan backdrop, statue of Liberty, etc.
Notes: The weather can be a factor here if you really want to get the most out of the top deck. However, you can still have a great time moving around the interior. I would still do this in the winter if we dressed appropriately.
MONEY: The prices that you’ll see on the menu are worth it considering what is happening. Be prepared for the entrees to be around $25-$30. Appetizers were around $10. Expect your drinks to range from $10-$15 bucks per glass.
You’ll come out dropping about $100-$200 for 2 people depending on how much you eat.
We skipped appetizers and were too full for desert but from what I was told, sometimes they draw things on the plate: “happy birthday” / “happy anniversary” – that kind of stuff.
TASTE: I had the steak and it was fine. My wife had the salmon. She’s the culinary expert and could do a much better job of reviewing food. She didn’t seem floored with the presentation but I couldn’t hear her over the sound of my steak being inhaled. I’ll have to let her write about the food in future posts but the take away here is that I was very satisfied.
DRINKS: The menu for drinks is extensive. Every sort of happy liquid is available.
SERVICE: John (again, I hope that’s his name) was the highlight of the night with the staff here. He’s the QB holding it all together. He did a great job getting us a table and I owe him for rescuing the night. We felt important. We had a great table by the window. People probably thought we were celebrities.
Our waiter (“Mike” – I think) did a great job as well. He wasn’t hovering over us all night, nor was he absent. I always felt like I could get his attention if I had to. While we were waiting for the food on the deck, he found us, and let us know that our food was ready.
He was disappointed that we didn’t get desert because he wanted to do some kind of drawing with the food on the plate. The people here seem genuinely cool and the whole night went smoothly considering the lack of planning on my part.
FOOD and Drinks = $103.00
That $125.00 includes the gratuity but can easily get into the $200’s depending on your appetite and tolerance for liquor. None of the appetizers caught our eye – so we skipped it & went straight for dinner. We didn’t have room for dessert. Keep that in mind when you look at the “Total Damage.” But I really want you to consider that a single ticket to get on some of these other boats can run upwards of $120 without any of the other packages that they charge you. We really lucked out on this one.
Would I repeat?
Was she impressed?
Was it fun and interesting?
Should I make a reservation?
If I could do it differently, I would make a reservation. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can jump on the yacht and make the most of it in the lounge.
How should we get there?
I think the pier has some sort of parking arrangement. The problem is the traffic getting there and we did notice a line. If I could do it differently, I would’ve gotten to the city much earlier, found parking on the street, and taken a cab or mass transit. We ended up using a parking garage that was about a block away. That ran me about $50.