Broad Channel has always been a town that I have passed through going into the Rockaways. A book signing was being held at an historic restaurant/former hotel. In fact the author, Dan Guarino had a bit part in La Cage aux Folles at Rockaway Theatre. This is the first time I stopped and entered any structure. I could see much rebuilt from Sandy as well as lingering destruction in this closely knit island section considered as part of the “Mainland” of Queens. Dan mentioned a restaurant, Bayview Grille and Marina as an eating house that I would enjoy located at 25 Brunt Road (718-945-2525).
Prior to entering the building I first smelled the aroma of seashells that quickly turned into “grill”. Everything was royal blue and white. There was a long bar on the right with high tables and seats around. Stairs lead up to the loft that has about 10 tables. The rest of the inside of the restaurant does not have many tables as much of the property centers on the outside deck.
The weather this evening couldn’t have been more perfect as rain clouds simply dumped the water and moved on. There was a breeze and the trending heat advisory was gone. I tend to like air conditioning, thus seated inside.
Allison Zeller, a waitress, has a Broad Channel ancestry that goes back to several generations when the town was composed of summer bungalows. She has been working at Bayview for 6 years. “When Sandy hit the deck fell off, we lost the atrium and the wooden floors buckled”. One of the partners owned a few other establishments and they vowed to rebuild or renovate all of them. Properties included a deli and supermarket owned by Alex and Rob Pisani, where Allison worked during the Bayview rebuilt, which had its reopening in April of this year. Allison also told me that preparations were under way for the deck in regards to the fall and winter season.
“I’ll have a Blue Moon beer and a half dozen raw Blue Point Oysters”, said I. Always a great choose from an established restaurant.
Of the few restaurants in Broad Channel, Bayview Grill and Marina is the only eatery with waterfront dining. Eight slips are available to those who want to moor their boats.
“Are there any signature dishes from the Executive Chef?” There is no Executive Chef. It’s not fine dining. Menu is “Americana” and the owners are the E.C. Hmm…this looks interesting…Food Loaded Fries. These “side winder” thick fries are first beer battered. Topped with bacon and cheddar cheese with a side of gravy. This is Broad Channels answer to French Canadian Poutine. I highly suggest this as a shared appetizer or a full lunch…breakfast idea…think of it as bacon, cheese and home fries.
Needless to say, the outside deck is the biggest draw when it comes to atmosphere. In fact, Dominick Delio and his wife Ann arranged to have a 30th surprise birthday party for their daughter Maria Murphy. They live in Howard Beach. She and her husband Michael danced as the first round of local entertainment had “George” singing and playing guitar.
Since I expect to be here for quite a while, I’ll nurse some other items and can always take home a “person bag”. “How about the Bayview salad of house greens, fresh mozzarella , and roasted peppers.” Looking out the large windows I could see diners coming up from their boats. There was a couple each taking photos. You can view the trains going into the Rockaways, as well as the buildings. On the right is the toll bridge.
If it weren’t for some lingering clouds the sunset would have been more than picturesque. Instead, Jonathon Seagull invited his friends for several photo opps.
“The chicken wings read well. How about some with the Honey BBQ sauce”. One thing that I found to be on the plus side is that the staff is familiar with not just the menu but the preparation. As for the wings, they couldn’t have been more perfectly cooked. Easy to eat, juicy and just enough crunch. Again, not fine dining so don’t expect homemade sauces. Choices are: BBQ; Buffalo; General Tso; Teriyaki; Bourbon; Carolina Tangy, Honey BBQ; and Garlic Stinger.
“In case I decide on a burger or steak, are they frozen or fresh?” (I ask). “Totally”, I’m told.
It appeared that the earlier entertainment is geared to a more subtle sound. It was followed by a rock band. Need I say more. Hey, it’s a Saturday night! I was able to hear both seated inside and away from the door that opens onto the deck. Live entertainment (vs corpses) on Thursday through Sunday.
The menu does not feature a whole lobster. They are delivered fresh and prepped for the lobster Mac and Cheese, Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich and Lobster Roll. “What the heck…I’ll have a lobster roll”. It bills itself as being lobster salad. To me it looks and tasted like a simple mayo was added. Plate came with a slice of tomato and house made chips.
I took it for granted that the customers were all Broad Channel locals. Wrong. Some paid the toll and were there not just for the food but to watch “The Fights”. It’s a draw for those who want to enjoy the sports and not have to pay the extra price for ordering it on their tv. There are enough televisions placed all over the indoors for everyone to see regardless of where they are sitting. If you really want to view it from the deck, you can simply look through the windows. It didn’t look like anyone outside was interested. In fact, I saw a group have their meal indoors and then take a table at the deck. Did I tell you that there is another bar located on the deck?
I bit of history before dessert. The property is owned by Anthony Martelli and was a mere fish store called The Boat House. His nephew, Nicky is now one of the owners of Seaview. Nicky told me that the aim is to create a place of relaxation, casual dining and great service. Unless you have a large guest party, there are no reservations. Hint….this place is very popular and the wait time is worth it.
As for Anthony, you will see him walking about from table to table conversing with the customers in order to see that their dining experience is a positive one. When not doing that he might either be busing a table or down at the docks helping to moor a boat. He, however, is not the General Manager. David Ramos has that position and what appeared to be a very busy one at that. You could tell that he loves his job.
At present, none of the desserts are made on the premises. A frozen dessert menu rests on the table with photos of items such as lemon ices served in a lemon. I chose a Tartufo. I love the dark chocolate shell, let alone the combination of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, preserves and almonds. Now ready to depart.
While waiting outside for a car service to take me home, there were some patrons preparing to leave. I heard one of the women say to me, “Wait on the curb. The tide is coming in and there is a full moon”. She must have been a “local”.