Though its menu stars an ensemble of oceanic delicacies, House of Crabs’s specialty is, not surprisingly, crabs. Crab and corn chowder and crab cakes give way to more focused dishes such as the crab combination platter, a behemoth plate of king crab, dungeness crab, and snow crab. Waiters also whirl around plates stacked with other sea fruits, such as lobster and shrimp, and the nautical-inspired space is studded with ships’ wheels, boat ropes, and a functioning wave pool.
In a dining room the 2010 Michelin guide described as "a fresh, modern interior soaked in beautiful, natural light," according to their website, servers at Indian Clove deliver a diverse roster of Indo-Chinese dishes. As patrons sip salted, spiced lassi, daily lunch buffets heap plates with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian entrees. Grilled-chicken tikka and lobster cook inside the traditional clay oven known as a tandoor as chefs with a "serious talent for Indian fare," according to Michelin, prepare classics such as samosas and lamb vindaloo. Drinks and live DJs complement these classic flavors in the bar and lounge, where hanging orange lamps sprout from carefully watered light bulbs to illuminate cocktails.
Named for a type of plane tree with a broad, sprawling crown, Chinar on the Island shelters diners in a space designed to look like a breezy Mediterranean courtyard. Sandstone archways and clusters of palms surround diners as they tuck into appetizers, such as fresh mussels and saffron shrimp, or point out which of the clouds painted on the ceiling are shaped most like fried calamari.
For the main meal, shareable kebab plates skewer grilled meats and veggies, and pilaf dishes steam tender rice with spices and vegetables in a tangine, or earthenware pot. Hearty traditional dishes, such as roast quail or lamb slow-cooked on the bone, can fill bellies or weigh down brass display vessels commandeered for impromptu rounds of shot put.
It's cycled through a couple different names and locations since its inception in 1976 but Docks Clam Bar & Pasta House has always been owned by the same family. Kim and Trisha, daughters of the original owners, run the restaurant today. During their tenure as managers, they’ve revamped the menu to include homemade desserts and blackboard specials, and oversee chefs who stock the raw bar with half shells full of clams and oysters, heap linguine with shrimp, and stuff ravioli with lobster. Mixologists, meanwhile, rattle cocktail shakers full of spirits and tropical juices, to serve up fresh cocktails and drown out distracting siren calls.
Jutting out over the salty waters of Raritan Bay, Jakeabob's Bay furnishes diners with picturesque views to accompany a menu of classic American and maritime fare. Tantalize taste buds with an appetizer of fried calamari with marinara sauce ($12) and bypass cumbersome cutlery with dishes such as the fried-tilapia fish taco served in a soft tortilla shell with pineapple chili ($12) or the fried-sea-scallop-and-wasabi-mayo sandwich ($11). Daily specials add variety to the standard menu with such variables as the lobster dinner ($17)—a steamy crustacean served whole, complete with its lobster bowtie. As they take in their nautical cuisine, diners catch between-bite views of the New York skyline and invigorating breaths of Atlantic wind.