By IAN SIGALOW
Usually before one sets sail for The BoatYard Grill, it is recommended to call ahead, but on a Thursday night around 6:30 p.m., we decided to take our chances. Other than its scenic views of Cayuga Lake, one of the best parts of the restaurant is its bar area, which offers both standing rom and seating with a full menu available. We were pretty shocked to walk into the restaurant to see it half empty, but were told that it would be a 15-minute wait. So a word to the wise: We were informed that on weeknights the restaurant is not fully staffed and has a set ratio of servers to tables. So after a brief stay at the bar, we were led to our table where we tightened our sails, and embarked on our journey.
Our waitress recommended starting with the Clam “Chowda,” which was served piping hot. It was a New England chowder and was not only tasty, but one of the better bang-for-your-buck items on the menu ($2.95). My guest ordered the local beet salad and added grilled shrimp. The beet salad was nicely finished with vinaigrette but the locally grown apples and goat cheese from Lively Run Goat Dairy (Interlaken, NY) was a great addition. He also really enjoyed this appetizer, but it was definitely on the pricier side ($13.95), and he still had an entrée headed his way.
One of the hidden gems of The BoatYard Grill is their selection of “street tacos,” which originally started as a special, but quickly made their way onto the main menu. I selected the Chicken Mole Tacos after much deliberation (the Steak Chimi is next on my list; the mango avocado salsa perfectly complemented the chicken. The pico de gallo on the side was also perfect for topping it off, and the presentation was fantastic. My counterpart chose to order New England Crab Cakes, but elected the small plate portion (4 mini crab cakes for $10.95 instead of the main entrée for $17.95). The remoulade drizzled on top of the crab cakes was delicious and really brought out the taste of the meat.
Even though I was stuffed, my sweet tooth decided to kick in and we split the chocolate lava cake filled with a chocolate truffle sauce. As if this did not sound appetizing enough already, we were delighted to learn that the ice cream on top was a fresh scoop of vanilla from the renowned Purity Ice Cream parlor located down the road.
Summary: Although we were a bit perturbed to be waiting in an empty restaurant, the meal more than made up for it, as did the décor, which played off of a nautical theme with nets and other boating paraphernalia scattered across the restaurant. The appetizers were tasty, but in the future I plan on including the Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls in my order, which have also received rave reviews. We both were glad that we chose to order appetizers and small plates, as they were the perfect portion size to pair with a dessert. I look forward to my next meal at The BoatYard Grill; the only question that remains is not when to go, but rather what I should get next.