Enjoy New York City Views from a Weehawken Bar
>> If you love relaxing by a significant body of water, but don't have a place in the Hamptons, or on the Jersey Shore Gold Coast, consider regular, quick getaways to Weehawken, New Jersey, with its breathtaking views of Manhattan and, of course, the magnificent Hudson River.
You can drive here, but why bother? It's faster and more fun to arrive on a NY Waterway's ferry. The closest dock in Manhattan is located behind the Jacob Javits Center at 38th Street and 11th Avenue, with ferries reaching Weehawken's Port Imperial in under ten minutes per trip. Longer cruises can be had, however, starting from Manhattan's Financial District at the World Financial Center dock, or from Pier 11 at Wall Street. Consult NY Waterway's site for other locations.
Taking the ferry to Weehawken is worth the effort (or perhaps "lack of effort," depending how much you like driving through the Lincoln Tunnel). And sightseeing couldn't be better. Sweeping Manhattan vistas are always spectacular, and, if conditions are right during the late afternoon, you'll also see New York's skyscrapers transformed into surreal, sun-reflecting pink!
Once you pull into Port Imperial, stroll through its park-like shore, with beautifully manicured grounds that burst at the seams with bright flowers (summer and fall), or newly hatched wildlife (spring).
Arthur's Landing, your bar and restaurant destination, is just south of the dock, but don't rush to get there! Walk slowly. Smell the fresh river air. Enjoy the shimmering city views. Marvel at the gardens. Relax on benches while watching boats of all sizes cruise by.
And, of course, listen to the sound of water lapping up against the hulls of boats. If you visit when the outside bar is open (top two photos), wave-slapping will be part of your background music as there are no obnoxious city sounds anywhere.
For those of you on a tight budget who are looking for the glamour of summery getaways, plus ample amounts of good food, Arthur's Landing has a bar menu chock-full of reasonably priced, tasty fare.
The Chef's Burger with Celeriac Apple Slaw, for example, is substantial and well worth the ten-bucks. The bar menu, in fact, ranges from $10 to $16, a super fair deal considering your surroundings and the quality of food.
Brooklyn Ale and Widmer Hefeweizen (an unfiltered wheat beer) are on tap and live jazz holds forth Thursday evenings from 7 to 10 PM, gratis; there is never a cover charge. The bar seats about 20 people, plus you can grab one of the four, small, comfy tables lined up next to windows (two others are available).
The formal dining room is just south of the wooden bar. It features contemporary American cuisine such as Tuna Tartare, yummy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Crab Salad with Spicy Siracha Sauce and warm Cambozola with yummy Roasted Garlic and Tomato Raison Chutney. Main courses start around $28.
But, there's smoking . . .
OK, Arthur's Landing is almost perfect (and the same can be said about Weehawken's other spectacular, river-front restaurant, The Chart House, which is also served by NY Waterway's ferries at Lincoln Harbor). Unfortunately, New Jersey does not ban smoking, which comes as a shock after having great dining and drinking experiences in even the least of New York's establishments. (Celebrate! As of 2007, New Jersey enacted a no-smoking law. Littleviews now gives a total "thumbs-up" to this restaurant!)
The rest of the atmosphere . . .
Without considering the effect of smoking in the bar, or walking through the bar to get to the dining area, the overall atmosphere at Arthur's Landing restaurant is elegant, but casual, with some patrons walking in right off their boats, while others wear their holiday finest. Family parties are popular and children are welcome. A second floor event room is used for weddings and other special occasions.
Glass walls wrap around east and south sides of the restaurant, exposing all of New York's spectacular skyline. If you're lucky, you'll see gigantic, ocean-going cruise ships (including the Queen Mary 2) poking around their docks, as well as helicopters taking off or landing on Manhattan rooftops.
As I started to mention earlier, the most tranquil features of Arthur's Landing are the moorings, bobbing boats, water birds, and the Hudson lapping up against the restaurant's wall only a few feet below its window-side tables. No matter when you visit, however, this atmosphere immediately puts you in a vacation-frame-of-mind, even if you're only dropping in for a few brews after a hard day in the city.
Weekends, of course, bustle with brunch and dinner crowds. Happy Hours (always my personal target) take place Monday through Friday night from 5 PM to 7 PM.
Visit Arthur's Landing once and you're sure to become a regular (with the understanding of smoking issues, of course). Getting there, of course, is half the fun!
Pershing Circle at Port Imperial
Arrive by ferry or car.
(but more fun by ferry...)
Weehawken, NJ 07086
Questions or comments?
Out and About Reporter
Littleviews' Editor and Chief
CREDITS: Article by Alison O'Brien and Karen Little. Photos by Karen Little. Published on 5/22/2005. Summer scenes taken on September 11 and 12, 2004. Goslings on May 6, 2005.