Jersey City is no stranger to transformation. Over the last thirty-five years, the city has evolved from a dock and manufacturing town populated with immigrants to a bustling, industrial city with a financial district so powerful, it was given the moniker “Wall Street West.”
But more recently, it seems as if Jersey City is again in the process of shifting its identity -- from financial center to popular tourist spot. Seafood bar Surf City, located right on the edge of the Jersey side of the Hudson River, is my proof in this hypothesis.
Surf City, which draws inspiration from Caribbean cabanas and tiki bars, is a waterfront grill headed by Chef Franco Robazetti that serves up beach fare such as lobster rolls, crawfish, and mussels. This summer, Chef Robazetti, who was named champion of the Food Network hit show “Chopped,” plans to open a raw bar that will also serve sushi, sushi tacos, and poke.
In addition to its amazing seafood, Surf City boasts classic surf and turf options, including burgers and nachos. To go along with the meal, the restaurant offers a varied frozen drink menu, with drinks such as a Banana Colada (Pina Colada, Banana, Dark Rum), and the Island Fusion (Banana, Strawberry, Light Rum, and Coconut Rum).
However, great food is not the only draw of dining at Surf City. Visitors to the venue are also blessed with unparalleled views of the New York City and the Statue of Liberty. But most exciting -- at least in my opinion -- are the giant sized games available to play with it, including a full size shuffleboard court and massive Jenga. Did I mention you can play all of these games while huddled around a roaring bonfire? The perfect solution to those odd, chilly summer nights.
Jersey City isn’t quite the tourist spot it could be. But Surf City is a great, affordable eatery that is worth making the trek over the Hudson River for. Eat some seafood, enjoy the beach, get a little drunk, and explore the other side. Jersey City is shifting as we speak. Don’t you want to say you knew about it first?