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Nov 9, 2006 06:22 PM

City Island

Does anyone have any recommendation for a good restaurant in city island? I went to Crab Shanty and I was not overly impressed. I'm planning on going back there this weekend and wanted to try another place.

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  1. I enjoy Johnny's Reef, right at the far end of the main drag. There is nothing fancy about it, but the soft shells were great this summer. Think seafood rather than fish. Here was my description from a while back:

    "Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant, a place the size of Katz's right at the end of City Island Avenue, with great views of Long Island Sound. Forty-five years old, and I don't think they've changed much: a barn of a room (and a big terrace outside) ringed by stations serving booze, steamed seafood (with a choice of sauces and Italian bread), fried seafood (french fries, lemons, coleslaw), raw bar, chowders, and even burgers and hot dogs. Grab a table, pick up your orders, pay cash.

    Now, this is not fancy seafood - not even great seafood - but you can't argue with the price and the quantity..."

    1. i love this place. every time i go to CI, this is where i go. it screams the bronx, but that just adds to its charm. i'm always curious about the place across the street, but i just love the atmosphere at johnny's too much. and the fried seafood is really good (and i grew up going to maine for summer vacations). ive had the shrimps, oysters and scallops and you cant go wrong w/ either. the steamed shrimp w/ garlic butter i think it is is good as well if you're going the healthy route. the alcohol is cheap too. btw, although the tartar sauce is of the runny variety, it's really good!

      1. Add me as a Johny Reefs fan. We have a blast everytime we go there!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

          hey sweatshirt guy, off the topic but i think it's funny you think wo hop is underrated by CH! i havent been there in awhile (plus ive usually been drinking when i go there) but what are your fave dishes??

          1. re: unocal

            I am a fan of the egg foo young there. The ribs are good too. It is fun after a few!

        2. I'll add to the praise of Johnny's; it's tops. And for what it's worth, my friend grew up on City Island (and still lives there) and says it's the only restaurant on the island worth going to. She has a rule about City Island dining: "The more the place looks like an actual restaurant," she says, "the lousier it is."

          1 Reply
          1. re: sgrobart

            Went there on a whim on Saturday based on posts here and a mention in a recent NY Magazine list of recommended summer outdoor spots. The steamers ($11/DZ) were perfect and the lobster tails ($23) looked good too. A straightforward deal: go to either the fry counter or steam counter, choose your chow, wait till cooked to order; then go to booze counter and get beer, mai tais or daiquiris. The upside: no attitude at all and the counter staff are real troopers. Caveats: It's jutting out into Long Island Sound so the weather will be more extreme than on the mainland, especially if eating outside. If you love a low-budget hoi polloi scene and mid-century concrete+blue tile design, this is your place. A quote from my dining companion: “IF ONE HAS A TASTE FOR THE CHAOTIC, FRENETIC, CONFUSING, AND ALBEIT DIRTY EXISTENCE OF LIFE; HERE IS THE PLACE TO BE. FOOD IS ADEQUATE AS WELL AS THE DRINKS. WIND SWEPT PAPER PLATES, NAPKINS AND COCKTAIL SAUCE ALL ADD TO THE FUN. SEAGULL PROTECTION IS OFFERED BY MEANS OF TAUT STEEL WIRES POSITIONED FROM EAST TO WEST. ON OUR LAST REVIEW WE NOTED HOW MUCH MORE FUN THIS WOULD BE IF THESE WIRES WERE ELECTRIFIED. FUN PARKING LOT. FUN CROWD.” Let's just say we're looking forward to another try in the off-season.

          2. I like to get the linguine (al dente) with clams and clam sauce at Crab Shanty.