One of Manhattan’s prime on-water restaurants is Grand Banks — a multi-award-winning oyster bar located on board the SHERMAN ZWICKER, a handcrafted wooden schooner christened in 1942.
This restaurant conjures images of Manhattan’s floating oyster barges of yesteryear. Here, you can enjoy delectable seafood, premium cocktails and impressive views of New York City and the harbor. The brainchild of two sailors — and brothers — Miles and Alex Pincus and New York nightlife aficionado Adrien Gallo, Grand Banks is a partnership between the trio’s hospitality group, Summer Inc., and the not-for-profit Maritime Foundation.
The restaurant helps to raise funds to support maritime preservation, education and conservation in the area. As of 2014, it had provided to the foundation more than $100,000, which has been used to restore health to rivers, develop New York Harbor’s oyster habitats and preserve historic, but at-risk vessels. Beyond simply “doing good,” the restaurant also serves up good eats. Renowned Chef Kerry Heffernan is not only a wiz in the kitchen; he also facilitates Grand Banks’s sustainability initiatives. Overseeing the beverage program is the world-famous cocktail connoisseur Lauren Schell of Milk & Honey fame.
Grand Bank’s menu comprises a delightful selection of seasonal plates. While the main features are the wild-caught and sustainably harvested East and West Coast oysters — Heffernan likes to emphasize Atlantic oysters local to the New York waters — other favorites include fried soft shell crab with lemon, herb and espelette dressing; scallop ceviche with avocado, habanero, kaffir lime and mint; or the well-rated lobster roll of freshly prepared Maine lobster with herb, fennel, lemon, a dulse emulsion and boat-made pickles.
As would be expected from a summertime hot spot, the libations on board the SHERMAN ZWICKER at Grand Banks are something to write home about. Nautically themed, the signature cocktails feature fresh-squeezed juices, farm-to-table produce and quality spirits. Be sure to try the Sherman’s Cup — rosé, fresh-squeezed lemon and lime, muddled orange and seasonal berries; the Revolución —vodka, mint, fresh-squeezed lime and Angostura bitters; or the Italian Ambassador to Mars — Campari, fresh-squeezed orange and lemon and club soda.