The Loeb Boathouse was on my “to-go” lists due to the picturesque boathouse being featured in movies such as When Harry Met Sally and 27 Dresses. It has one of the most iconic locations in NYC, being located in the Loeb Boathouse that was built in 1954 by Carl Loeb and his wife, next to the lake in the middle of Central Park. Having already been put in a “romantic” mood from strolling around the park beforehand, the restaurant itself would probably improve anyone’s bad mood just by exuding some of the location’s peace and tranquility.
It is advisable to make a booking at the boathouse as there are plenty of tourists (like us) who has the same romantic notions of having lunch at the restaurant. We had made a booking for a weekday lunch but still had to wait around 15 minutes to be seated – just enough time for us to defrost around the bar area. Regardless of the wait, the restaurant is definitely worth the visit at least once, even if it is just for the views. Every seat in the restaurant has a pretty good view of the lakeside with the ceiling to floor glass windows, and we were fortunate enough to be seated at one of the window-side tables.
In terms of the meal itself, the food was a bit of a hit and miss. I ordered the vegetarian option of the roasted trumpet royale mushrooms that was grilled well and served with a creamy wasabi-tofu cream, sweet roasted peppers, wilted spinach, and all topped with a crispy aromatic sesame tofu. Although I was hungry not long after lunch, the dish itself was cooked well and all the elements complemented each other well. M’s steak frites was ordered to be medium rare, however came out to be quite well done. However the hand cut fries were well fried and perfectly crispy, and the “market vegetables” were roasted nicely.
All in all, there are many restaurants in NYC that offer better food (and likely better value too) however it is the whole experience of dining in a boathouse next to a lake in Central Park that makes the Loeb Boathouse a packed-out eatery everyday (from both tourists and locals… though mostly tourists). After lunch at the Boathouse, we then continued our exploration of Central Park and ended up hiring out bikes to work off the lunch in order to free up some of our limited stomach space (… first world problems).
What iconic restaurants have you been to with amazing views?
The Loeb Boathouse
East 72nd St and Park Dr North NY
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