Room With a (Killer) View

Room With a (Killer) View

I have to admit: the idea of shlepping up to West Harlem to check out a new restaurant called Riverbank Grill in Riverbank State Park was not my idea of an effortless Tuesday night. But, intrigued by the area and the supposedly grand views overlooking the Hudson, I decided that shlep I would do. And it was well worth the 45-plus ride in rain and rush hour traffic to get there. A sprawling, spacious space, done in metal and leather, with floor to ceiling glass windows greeted me, along with a charming hostess offering me shots of “ceviche shooters:” mini-Bloody Marys peppered with chunks of seafood. Cocktail in hand, I wandered outside to take in what was indeed, grand views of the George Washington Bridge and the expansive Hudson River. The restaurant, with wide circular leather booths, indoor tables and outdoor seating, felt both casual and decidedly hip, with an area available for late night dancing and a DJ. The menu on this particular night (that would become part of the mainstay menu) was down-home delicious: chicken and waffles married hot sauce with syrup; salmon burgers were juicy and flavored; crispy calamari came dressed with crumbled herbs and spicy mayo, and frickles (yes, frickles) punched up the taste buds (breaded fried pickles with garlic cream sauce). The restaurant also offers some 20 local and international brewed beers, in bottles and on tap. The staff, clearly excited about the restaurant’s debut, couldn’t be more gracious and warm. This is one uptown restaurant I’ll be traveling north for again. Riverbank Grill, 679 Riverside Drive, 212.234.1023

Photo: View of George Washington Bridge from Riverbank Grill