Dinner at Waterfire?
Am a big fan of 3 Steeple St....affordable, friendly, tasty and consistent AND they pour a good drink.
They have a Waterfire menu that helps them cope with the crush of the crowds and keeps the experience positive. A little simpler, but great and I think it's cool that they have come up with a formula that works both for them and the customers.
I'd recommend parking about 30 feet away from the river and Waterfire next the building housing 3 Steeple Street and New Rivers, both excellent restaurants (the former the less pricey option). Right across the street right on the river is Cafe Nuovo, whose outdoor patio is the best place to eat to experience Waterfire in my opinion.
At a recent Waterfire we went to the Red Fez. Easy nearby parking, no reservation, and seated immediately about 8:30. Had Planters Punch, Mojitos, watermelon salad, stuffed clams. Sorry, forget entrees others had, but all very good. Stuffed clams with corn, chorizo, and drizzled with a spicy cream sauce were memorable. Room is very dark but service was pleasant. Prices low.