Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar opened 20 days ago — with what I would have to say is the most spectacular water view in Westchester. Don’t get me wrong, the Hudson and the Byram River and the reservoirs up north are beautiful, too. But when you look at this —
— you just feel like you’re somewhere else. How can this even be Westchester?
More photos of the space, and the food, after the jump.
So Karen Croke, one of my colleagues, is writing a story about the restaurant opening. (It will run Saturday, May 29, over Memorial Day — just in time to remind you all to get out and get a table during the long weekend!)
For now, here’s a look at what Karen and I discovered when I tagged along for her reporting appointment. Here’s the entrance to the tikibar and the outdoor seating area:
And here’s the outside of the restaurant:
Just a quick note on how to get there. You drive all the way down to the end of Playland Parkway, and then park in the Playland parking lot. The first 200 spaces are reserved for restaurant-goers (and parking is validated so it only costs $2 rather than the $5 or $7 it would otherwise). Then you just walk out onto the boardwalk and turn left to head toward the end of the pier and the water. It’s a little confusing at first, but you can see this white and red building all the way from the entrance to the pier.
OK moving on …
Nice details on the pineapple lamps:
The interior of the restaurant:
Tiki umbrellas outside:
View. Stunning, isn’t it?
Oh look, how cute… tiki benches:
See the screen? The restaurant will show games, videos of the band that’s playing, that kind of thing:
The tiki bar has plenty of space, too:
There are some bar tables along this fence:
Here’s photographer Mark Vergari shooting some pictures for the print article:
Cocktails… yeah, there are plenty of those. Tiki drinks galore, from margaritas to daiquiris to punches to colada.
The fish on these drinks are edible. No kidding. They’re gummy fish.
Here’s the lobster roll:
The pupu platter:
And here’s the lobster salad:
After Mark shot the food, we nibbled on it — it is just as you’d expect: not fancy, gourmet, but just good old-fashioned fish house fare. Here’s the chef, John Mandarino, who graduated from Johnson & Wales and worked for a time at different restaurants in Miami and other places in Florida. He also used to work for Sammy’s Fish Box on City Island:
Funny story about Sammy’s Fish Box. Sam Chernin, shown here —
— used to owns Sammy’s, where John Ambrose, shown here —
— was a waiter and then a manager. Later, the guys collaborated to open Seaside Johnnie’s, which is just down the Pier. Now, they’re partnering for the Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar, too. These guys must really love the surf, huh?
One more look at the food:
And here are the photos that Mark Vergari shot:
Are you guys going to check it out? Report back and let me know!
The 411 is coming for now: 100 Playland Parkway, Rye. 914-967-1020.