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Crowds Flock to Old Patrol Boat for Gourmet Dinner Cruises

By Meredith Hoffman | December 5, 2013 11:08am
 The Water Table will hold its first dinner cruise this weekend.
The Water Table will hold its first dinner cruise this weekend.
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Water Table

GREENPOINT — When "Brooklyn's first dinner boat" had its maiden voyage delayed from fall to winter, operators Sue Walsh and Kelli Farwell thought the frigid weather might scare off their first batch of riders.

Instead, clients have inundated the nautical couple with reservations for the Water Table, a 1944 U.S. Navy Yard Patrol boat that will offer gourmet meals, drinks and cruises around New York Harbor for $75 per person starting Friday evening, Walsh said. 

"People don't usually think of going out in the winter on a boat, but surprisingly we have reservations made all the way through the end of January," said Walsh, who also announced Wednesday that the boat would host two New Year's Eve parties and had booked nearly half the spots within a few hours. "We can't believe it."

The New Year's parties include a dinner cruise earlier in the evening and a midnight ride, Walsh said of the trips that launch from the India Street Pier.

The boat's outdoor upper deck is always open, but the ship also features a cozy heated cabin and serves hot stews and other comforting dishes to counteract the chill, Walsh said.

The early popularity of the boat — whose opening was delayed because of a longer wait than expected for its liquor license — is partly due to the dishes created by Farwell, whose culinary and wine experience includes stints at Gramercy Tavern and DuMont, Walsh noted.

"We have the same kind of standards for food quality as people do on land," Walsh said of the seafaring eatery, which has already been praised by Time Out New York and other outlets prior to its opening.

Walsh, a graphic designer, said she and her partner Farwell felt a dinner boat would provide the perfect fusion of their culinary and aesthetic leanings.

They searched around the country for the right vessel and finally arrived at the Revolution, a 62-foot ship that most recently served as a tour boat in Boston Harbor, news outlets have reported.

The boat, which accommodates 38 people at a time, takes riders to the Statue of Liberty, Roosevelt Island and other spots around the city's waterways, giving New Yorkers a chance to glimpse their home in a new light, Walsh said.

"A lot of New Yorkers don't go on the water much," she said. "It's intimate. You really feel the history of the boat."