The Boathouse Grill is a comfortable neighborhood bar in the Eagle Creek area, just down from the Colts complex on West 56th Street. It's the perfect place to meet up with friends, make new ones or watch a game.
Yes, you will smell cigarette smoke, but the owners have decided to ban cigars, much to the dismay of a regular named Ron. (And Ron thinks many of the cigar-smoking Colts staff will be on his side.) Plus, the Boathouse will open a new patio this month, for those who prefer fresh summer breezes.
My wife and I went in for dinner after a long day at work. Taking a chair at one of the high-top tables was as relaxing as our own living room couch, but with several times the number of TVs.
The friendly server quickly came to greet us, took our drink orders, and easily talked us into an appetizer, the Boathouse calamari.
Served with cocktail sauce and a side of coleslaw, the calamari was fried crisp and complemented my Drifter Pale Ale, brewed by Widmer Brothers in Portland, Ore. For dinner, my wife ordered the Tuesday special, a bacon-wrapped filet mignon, with garlic mashed potatoes topped with bacon, cheese and chives. The filet was flavorful and juicy, but not quite as tender as it could have been. Still, for $9.95, it was an awesome deal.
I ordered the fish submarine, a battered, deep-fried, crisp, whitefish filet, about 12 inches long, that dwarfed the hoagie roll. This giant tartar-sauced sandwich was so good that I was down to my final few bites before I realized how absurdly full I was. I hadn't even stopped to talk to my wife since I had begun gorging.
The service is what stands out about this nautically themed bar, with its 65-gallon fish tank and 28-foot wooden sailboat hanging upside-down from the ceiling. Owners John and Joy Gilmor are fun and easy to talk to, giving The Boathouse Grill both its charm and coziness.