Summer is finally here, and with it comes that overwhelming warm weather desire to eat outside. There are a handful of choices in Port Washington that offer outdoor seating: Sisina, La Motta's, Louie's, and The Waterview Restaurant are the ones that immediately come to mind.
The Waterview has a lot going for it — ample parking, a great location, and enormous amounts of seating (both indoors and out). The site of The Waterview — Brewer's Capri Marina — has been home to several restaurants in the past, including DiMaggio's on the Bay and Latitudes. During the winter and the cooler/wetter spring and fall months, coupons for big (40 percent) discounts at The Waterview could be found in local papers, penny savers, and coupon books. As the weather has improved however, the discounts have decreased, but coupons for 10 percent or 20 percent off are still fairly easy to find.
The restaurant is very large, with ample seating inside (air conditioned), in the indoor/outdoor porch (cooled with ceiling fans), or outside (shaded by umbrellas). The menu is a mix of Italian, seafood, and Continental cuisine.
Appetizers are dominated by seafood (Clams Casino, Shrimp Cocktail, Fried Oysters, etc.), with only one non-seafood choice (the Cold Antipasto platter). The average appetizer price is $9. The restaurant offers four soups (including French Onion Soup and New England Clam Chowder) and a variety of salads ranging from $8 for a Caesar Salad to $14 for the Chef Salad. For an extra charge (between $6 and $7.50) you can add Blackened Chicken, Shrimp, Pan-Seared Salmon Slices, or Grilled or Fried Calamari to any salad.
Sandwiches and wraps include burgers, Chicken Parmigiana, Fried Ipswich Clam Sandwich, and The Waterview's unusual take on a BLT (Blackened Chicken BLT on a roll), among others. Prices for sandwiches, which are served with fries, are in the $12 to $14 range.
Entrees fall into three categories: chicken (Chicken Rosemary, Chicken Marechiara, Chicken Parmigiana), Seafood (Grilled Salmon, Walnut Crusted Tilapia, Filet of Sole Oreganta, Shrimp Scampi), and veal (Veal Crudaiola, Veal Sorrentino). The Waterview also offers close to a dozen pastas ranging from the common (Penne a la Vodka, Cappellini Primavera) to the unusual (Seafood Ravioli, Penne with Chicken and Shitake Mushrooms). Prices for the entrees and pastas are somewhat expensive for lunch — ranging from $14 to $20. The most expensive item on the menu is the deep fried combo of shrimp, fillet of sole and scallops for $23. Each of the fried options is also available individually for $19 (for those who are not worried about their cholesterol levels).
My lunch companion and I opted for the outdoor seating on the deck. The outdoor décor is plastic tables and chairs, with large market umbrellas for shade. The restaurant looks out onto the Manhasset Bay and the boats tied up at the marina — a pleasant view. Service was prompt and efficient, without any hovering. The waitress brought bread and butter to the table and took drink orders a few minutes after we were seated.
For lunch, I opted for a lighter (and good warm weather) choice — The Waterview Salad with Blackened Chicken on top. The salad itself was made of red leaf and baby lettuces, and had an interesting mix of ingredients including sliced avocado, walnuts, lightly steamed green beans, and sliced pears, dressed with aged apple balsamic vinegar. The salad was topped with a generous portion of strips of chicken breast. The chicken was very mildly spicy, I was expecting more kick from something called "blackened," but it was quite good and complemented the salad very well. Paired with a glass of white wine, the salad would be an excellent choice for a summer afternoon outing.
My friend had the Filet of Sole Oreganata — breaded sole, cooked until the breading was a golden brown, and served in a lemon butter garlic sauce. The dish was served with sautéed spinach studded with browned cloves of garlic. My companion deemed his dish as "excellent."
We were in and out in under an hour, making The Waterview an appropriate place for a business lunch. With its spacious rooms and numerous tables, it's also a great place for a large group (although you may want to call ahead so they can get the table ready). Good for outdoor eating in nice weather, or a special occasion lunch, this restaurant, although a bit pricey, delivers on ambiance and setting.
"It's a good place to energize your batteries on a beautiful day," noted my lunch companion.
Lunch for two, including soft drinks, tax and tip was $40. (And yes, I used a coupon.)