Yesterday, I met up with peg and rtb for dinner and drinks at The Rockaway Hotel, which is the new hotel that opened last month on Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Beach. It’s expensive (rooms are $300/night), so I don’t know if they’ll be able to survive. They do have a spa and a few restaurants, so that may be enough to keep them in business.
First we had dinner at The Pool which is ground level. All dining there is outdoors and people were using the heated pool despite the temperature outside being in the mid-60s. We chose a table in the sun and it was warm enough to sit in our shirtsleeves.
I started with a Chardonnay since I was planning on having shellfish. Dinner didn’t start until 5pm and since it was only 4pm (there was a reason for the late lunch/early dinner), we had to order from the all-day menu. I started with the pool salad (mixed leaf lettuce and house dressing). They had spread the creamy dressing all over the bottom of the bowl so that it looked like the lettuce was sitting on a green tortilla. It was really good.
Next I ordered a half-dozen of the oysters and a half-dozen Cherry Stone clams. I always order East Coast oysters because they’re brinier than West Coast oysters and have a more appealing texture to me. For whatever reason, the restaurant only had West Coast oysters. Made no sense to me. rtb had the oysters as an appetizer and complained about the creaminess and lack of brininess, so I knew what to expect. I was displeased to say the least. For me, oysters should not taste like cream. The Cherry Stone clams brought the brininess, so I was happy I ordered those. I took the photo after I’d eaten a few of the oysters.
Then I finished off peg’s French fries.
Next stop was drinks up on The Rooftop, where we going to watch the sunset. The Jamaica Bay side gives you a better sunset view but they built the rooftop with few seats on that open side, then the building with some tables and the bar, and then the bigger open side with an Atlantic Ocean view. I would have split the open sides evenly.
You see the few remaining bungalows from up there. That entire area used to be filled with summer bungalows that were wooden shacks with screen doors. As a kid I’d beg my parents to rent one for the summer. Most were torn down for projects, apartment buildings, and two-floor homes. The remaining bungalows were winterized and they have little private sidewalks.
The views of the ocean and the bay are wonderful. For drinks I had a Shark Bite (Ghost Pepper tequila, cucumber, watermelon, lime, Tajin rim) first and then a Surf at Sunrise (Ilegal mezcal, Campari, pineapple, lime, smoked salt rim).
By Carene Lydia Lopez