As a man who grew up on the river, the grandson of a boat builder, Dick Blakeslee knows all about the sea and its creatures. Blakeslee even owned a former ship store on the river, the Sun DEK Marina, but his dream was always to own a restaurant, so he turned that store into a snack bar, and from there, it continued to grow. Now it's a full-service gourmet steak and seafood restaurant with a full raw bar overflowing with clams, oysters, and shrimp and seafood entrees including broiled salmon and fish tacos.
Situated right on the water, The Oar offers views of boats bobbing, whether you’re seated on the outdoor patio or in the nautical-themed dining room. Its wood paneling, sailboat art, and crisp white linens evoke the decor of a luxury yacht. Even during the wintertime, the riverside eatery brings cheer with views of the annual Christmas boat parade—a heartwarming display of twinkling lights and Santa riding up and down the river at the top of a water-ski pyramid. The tradition, which brings thousands to the river every year, was actually something dreamt up at The Oar 10 years ago.
With four generations of culinary wisdom running in their blood, the Pace family has a pretty good idea of what it takes to run a successful restaurant. Foremost on the list are top-notch ingredients—all meat served at Pace’s Steak House is handpicked in New York City’s famed meatpacking district and aged onsite in aging rooms filled with special lights and fans. After aging, some cuts are marinated for 24 hours. The menu's meatier selections—sizzling rib eye, filet mignon, and porterhouse steaks—are supplemented by oysters on the half shell, fresh seafood steaks, and a wine list, which includes 15 wines by the glass.
Chefs at George Martin's Strip Steak stand guard at roiling broilers, anticipating the exact moment when each dry-aged Angus steak within has perfectly browned. Ladles of béarnaise and au poivre sauces in hand, the kitchen staff sends each order—flanked by ramekins of sautéed vegetables or hand-cut french fries—out into the cozy, candlelit dining room. Wines and signature cocktails, such as ginger cosmopolitans, pair with each entree, including the restaurant's eponymous steaks, free-range chicken, brazilian lobster tails, and veal chops. George Martin's Strip Steak also caters special events, from small gatherings in its private dining rooms to onsite celebrations for up to 100 tuxedoed mannequins.
The main attraction at Mac's Steakhouse is a venerable selection of grass-fed steaks dry aged for at least 28 days. The gourmet cuts include 12-ounce new york strips served with potatoes au gratin, 16-ounce boneless rib eyes, and filets mignons that the New York Times lauds for their "velvety texture and well-made b?arnaise sauce." Though the steaks may get top billing, they share the limelight with an estimable array of seafood, including grilled salmon, white tuna, and a saut?ed shrimp-and-lobster combo served with vegetable risotto. Not to be outshined by the victuals, the restaurant's wine list traces the globe with varietals culled from California, France, Tuscany, Argentina, and Spain that have earned it an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
To enter Mac's 7,000-square-foot interior, guests pass through 10-foot-high, 100-year-old carved wooden doors. They cross the threshold into a high-ceilinged space with 150-year-old wood-plank floors. Paintings of cattle adorn the walls, and guests can peer into a wine cellar tucked behind glass panels.
Frank's Steaks has all the respectable hallmarks of an old-school steak house: white table cloths, neatly folded napkins, and dim lighting setting the mood. But then there are the crayons. They aren't there to keep kids busy?they're there so inspired diners of all ages can scrawl art onto the butcher paper atop each table. The most compelling works are framed and hung on the walls of the establishment, a fitting goal for diners to strive for when waiting for their mouthwatering steaks to arrive.
The signature Romanian skirt steak is certainly worth putting a crayon down for?the tender, juicy cut comes dripping in a marinade of garlic and duck sauce. A 42-ounce porterhouse, meanwhile, easily satisfies two diners or two medium-sized tanks of piranhas. Desserts also come in generous proportions, featuring smooth sorbets, triple-layer chocolate cake, and ice-cream pies.
Chops Steak & Fish Grill—formerly Chuck's Steakhouse—dishes out fresh catches and premium cuts and chops in a gold-accented dining room. Plates of crisp vegetables from the salad bar temper robust strip steaks, top sirloin, filet mignon, and Delmonico steaks. Risotto, gnocchi, and other pastas embrace vegetables or morsels of lobster and scallops, and chefs' specials treat tablescapes to daily surprises dished out beneath gold picture frames and soft lighting. Chops also hosts special events in the banquet room with aged wood-paneled walls and enough hardwood tables to seat 120 people, exactly the number of people in a standard bridal party.