Today’s feature: La Marina Restaurant, Bar and Beach Lounge
For those like me who live Uptown, specifically the Washington Heights/Inwood area definitely know it’s on the RISE. I mean MTV has created a reality show based in the area (now that I wrote that, I’m not sure if that’s really saying much…lol). But, seriously in the short time I’ve been in the area, I’ve seen nearly a half-dozen new restaurants and bars open (La Marina, Inwood Local, Corcho Wine Bar, Il Posto, and La Piñata to name a few) an awesome uptown hipster coffee shop (which I’ve Instagram’d – is that a verb yet?), the evolution of a nail salon into a lounge (more to come) and just on my walk yesterday I saw what looked like another bar/restaurant about to open next to PJ’s Wine (yes, we have our own liquor/wine warehouse in the neighborhood).
With subway fares increasing on what seems like a monthly basis, it’s nice to know that I don’t HAVE to go downtown to get something good to eat or to have some fun. I can literally walk down the block and have a drink or two or three and then stumble back up to go home and go to sleep :-).
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to highlight some of my favorites places in the neighborhood so if you’re traveling to NYC come up and visit OR brave enough to venture up from downtown be sure to check them out! And, be proud that you’ve supported a local business!
I’ve only been to La Marina a couple of times for happy hour and over the weekend I went for “Sunday Funday” brunch but have enjoyed it each time. It’s kind of hard not to enjoy with its abundance of outdoor sitting, location on the Hudson River and amazing views of Ft. Tryon Park, the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades. And, once the sun goes down and the party people come out they even HAVE a beach area with mini cabanas that give you a bit of that Nikki Beach Club feel.
It’s really a refreshing place to go after a long day of work or to hang out at on a Sunday afternoon and then party into the evening. They have a full bar area/menu and the restaurant has an enclosed space (so it’s actually open all year-long) and outdoor seating galore so you can enjoy the weather and view. If you like hookahs, you can also partake in that while visiting.
In terms of the food, I can only speak to the brunch menu. In my opinion, it’s a little limited in options, and could include unlimited drinks (that would be awesome) within a time limit or at least have one included with your meal. I chose the standard French toast with a side of home fries because nothing else really appealed to me that day (I don’t red meat or pork and limit my dairy intake). The french toast was okay, a little soggy but my waitress made up for the food experience. She was very friendly and attentive and he snapped a couple of pics for me. But, I can say the Mango daiquiri I had while waiting to be seated was absolutely delicious! I’ll go back for that and to try the sangria. I saw plenty of pitchers of it floating around and it looked quite tasty.
All in all, La Marina is the perfect summer hang out. There’s plenty of space, great atmosphere and music. But, be warned. Parking is horrendous in the area! Especially during the summer. There are a few parking garages within walking distance and they have valet parking but it fills up quickly and the traffic definitely backs up. I’d advise to just take the train – the A is the closet and only a 5 minute walk to the restaurant.
So, I ask you? Are you ready to RISE up and visit UPTOWN BABY?!
Side note: You may see a celebrity or two or three. Jay-Z and Beyonce, Leonard DiCaprio and even Mayor Bloomberg have been to the restaurant. Just last week, I saw Dule Hill (co-star of Psych) and Tika Sumpter (Sparkle, Think Like a Man, Gossip Girl).