Shady Harbor Marina
New Baltimore, NY
The weather had been so hot and muggy that it was impossible to describe accurately- like breathing swamp water? So damp that my shirt never dried? Can you spell ‘mold’ boys and girls? Despite the limitations of the weather, Aged Relative wanted to eat lunch outside. She’d spent the entire week in the house, in the air conditioning, and she was desperate for a change of scenery. Our departure was delayed by half an hour as we waited out torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.
After running some errands, we decided to head to New Baltimore to see if the restaurant at Shady Harbor Marina had reopened yet. The last time we tried it, earlier this season, it was closed for renovations and was going to open under a new name. We’d been going there for several years when it was operated by Yanni’s from nearby Coeymans, NY. We were in luck, as the new restaurant was open. The place is now called the Boathouse Grille. The interior has been beautifully redecorated since we last visited the place.
We opted for an outside table despite the heat, with the proviso that it be under shade. Much of the deck is covered by a large awning, conveniently equipped with ceiling fans for weather such as this. There is also a gazebo structure at one end of the deck, also with fans, and the solid roof of the gazebo seemed like a good idea to us since the threat of more thunderstorms hung over the Hudson River. The gazebo had the added benefit of being slightly raised above the rest of the deck, which provided a smidge more natural breeze, making the temperatures tolerable while we ate.
The Boathouse lunch menu is not expansive. There are an array of starters, soups and salads, burgers, pizza options, and hot sandwiches such as paninis. And a selection of desserts (we didn’t have a chance to look at their dinner menu, but it is available on their website, and includes more seafood than beef). Gluten free pasta is available, according to the menu. The limits of the menu are OK, because the main attraction here is the deck and the view. The Boathouse deck is huge, overlooking the cabin cruisers and a few sailboats docked at Shady Harbor. Boats are the main attraction here, and you will run an obstacle course of massive yachts as you drive into the parking lot. They are a lot prettier when in the water, and it is fun to fantasize about being one of the privileged lot that gets to go aboard while lazing about the deck, enjoying your lunch.
The special of the day was a chicken fajita pizza, which was the choice of Aged Relative. I opted for the open-faced steak sandwich. The pizza had a thin and very crisp crust, grilled chicken, and red, yellow and green pepper. Very tasty, and I’m not a fan of pizza, generally. The steak sandwich was beautifully medium rare, and topped with horseradish mayonnaise and arugula. It was served on a toasted ciabbata roll and I opted for potato salad instead of the French fries. The portion of potato salad was enormous, and at least half of it was wasted on me. Aged Relative enjoyed her tuxedo bomb dessert, a combination of 3 different mousses under a hard chocolate shell.
The Boathouse is not about economy dining. Our lunch tab hit $50 without any alcohol. Two iced teas totaled $4.00, and the desserts were $8.00 apiece. But the quality of ingredients and presentation were impressive enough to make it feel like we received value for our money. Maybe if we owned one of those big yachts it would seem like a downright bargain. We noticed some variance in the quality of wait staff service. The young fellow attending the table next to ours will clearly be going someplace in this world with his outgoing bonhomie and top quality customer service. By contrast, I suspect our waitress worked her last gig at Denny’s. Maybe that’s too harsh. Everything was fine with our meal, it’s just that the other waiter worked his table like a DJ. I’m sure he saw a more than healthy tip, as a result.
The Boathouse is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, and breakfast is served on the deck on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to Noon. The restaurant is located about 20 minutes south of Albany, just off Route 144 at the north end of New Baltimore.