The Loeb Boathouse Central Park, NYC

Yes, it’s touristy. However, don’t let that deter you from a great meal at the Loeb Boathouse Central Park. Having only one full day in the city I knew I wanted to visit the museums around the park, as well as explore the park itself. With a day this busy lunch reservations are a must, and since I would already be in the park it was the obvious, and admittedly exciting, solution.

Rain was looming all day, fortunately it held out until I entered the boathouse, and then it poured. It was great fun to watch the rowers try to rush to the shore, even though they were already soaked. It was a rain that just dropped all at once and stayed for a while with no warning sprinkles. However, the covered porch at the Boathouse could not have been a better place to enjoy lunch and the rain. After an extremely hot and humid day, the cool breeze coming off the rain and lake was refreshing and relaxing. While I try to take each experience for what it is, I do have a habit of comparing to previous experiences. The Loeb Boathouse Central Park reminded me of a great lunch my husband and I enjoyed in France a few years ago (I now realize I never wrote about that experience – that will be my next post!). Throughout my lunch I could not have felt more fortunate – fortunate to have the summers off, fortunate to be in such a beautiful place, fortunate to have avoided the rain, fortunate to have other amazing experiences to reflect upon, and fortunate to be comfortable enjoying time alone.

The menu examples below are from the lunch menu. There are separate menus for brunch and dinner on the website:

Vegetarian Options

  • Roasted Beets, Dandelion Greens, Sunflower Seeds, Poblano Vinaigrette
  • Mixed Lettuces Basil Sherry Vinaigrette, Snipped Herbs, Shallots
  • Housemade Cavatelli, Roasted Cauliflower, Toasted Almonds, Shaved Ricotta Salata
  • Celery Root Ravioli, Shitake Mushroom, Braised Herbs, Saba

Pescatarian Options

  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Cucumber, Tomato, Onion Salad, and Caper Remoulade Sauce (Delicious! Do not miss this if you are a crab cake fan!)
  • Black Sea Bass Crudo, Julienne Mango, Pickled Shallots, Coriander
  • King Fish Escabeche, Frissee, White Asparagus, Grapefruit, Shaved Bottarga
  • Sautéed Skate, Fennel, Italian Parsley, Kalamata Olives, Red Onions, Orange Supreme
  • Scottish Salmon, Chickpea Puree and Grilled Baby Romaine Salad
  • Sautéed Sea Scallops, Nappa Cabbage, Scallions, Ramen Noodles, Oxtail Broth

Reservations are encouraged – otherwise, expect a long wait:

Sophia Wine Bar, NYC

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Our experience at Sophia is one that we may never forget. In fact, it was so great we’ve even said we would hesitate to go back only because we can’t imagine it being that great again. But of course, I would go back in a heartbeat.

The small plates were delicious and are one of our favorite ways to enjoy dinner; the wine list is good; the atmosphere feels like a hidden neighborhood gem which for my first night in NYC was a perfect way to get a break from the chaos of the city. While these three things are enough to make a great dinner, our server was really what made our experience fantastic.

For a wine bar, I mentioned the wine list was good – although not great. The Italian heavy list did have some great options, but was actually small for a wine bar. However, after great dialog with our server he continued to bring us glasses of wine that were either not on the list or were only available by the bottle. We rarely order a bottle as we like to try different wines, but sometimes we do miss out on some of the best wines by doing this. At Sophia, we just got lucky to have the perfect server on the perfect night. More than three hours after our arrival we left with a round of hugs, happy bellies, huge smiles. It was a great way to begin our trip!

Vegetarian Options

  • Pizza – create your own with ingredients including arugula, mushrooms, onions, and olives
  • Vegetarian Lasagna
  • Spinach & Artichoke Dip
  • Assorted Olives
  • Mac n’ cheese
  • Cheese Platter
  • Mozzarella Crostini (Made in house)
  • Bruschetta trio (Tomato, Olive blend, ricotta)
  • Burrata
  • House Made Mozzarella and tomato salad

Pescatarian Options

  • Crudo & Melon
  • Crudo & Mozzarella
  • Jumbo Shrimp cocktail
  • Colossal Lump Crabmeat
  • Tuna TarTare