Photos by Lauren Spoth
115 S Water Street, Lewiston, NY, 14092
Cuisine: Traditional American, Seafood, Steak, Burgers
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:30am – 10pm; Fri 4 – 11; Sun 4 – 10 (They close an hour earlier in winter months.)
If you’ve ever done the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours or taken Center Street in Lewiston all the way down to the Niagara River, you’ve probably seen Water Street Landing. Located right on the riverfront, Water Street Landing is an all-in-one eatery complete with a banquet room, formal dining room, casual side bar, and a patio. Depending on which part of Water Street Landing you choose to wine and dine at, you can go in jeans and a t-shirt and chow down on burgers and clams casino while enjoying a live band or you can throw on your best dress-causal outfit and impress your friends/family/significant other with panoramic views over various steak, seafood, and cocktail options. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book but better because you get to eat.
As the ever-wise Hannah Montana once preached, you get the beeeeeest of both worlds. Ok she might not have been talking about this place in particular, but probably. It would be hard to find someone who was able to leave here unsatisfied, as Water Street Landing has something for just about everyone. Whether you’re here for a meal, an afternoon, or even the whole day you’re going to have a good time and a full stomach, plus the view is an Instagrammers dream come true. And if you’re feeling adventurous walk a couple feet over and take a tour of the Devil’s Hole Rapids with next-door neighbor Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Honestly, what can’t you do here?
With multiple dining options comes multiple menus (ain’t mad at that). The first menu we’ll cover belongs to The Patio at Water Street Landing. A self-proclaimed “summer casual dining” spot, you can find both covered and uncovered open-air seating complete with an outdoor bar and stage area for live music. The Patio works in conjunction with the upstairs indoor-outdoor dining area called The River Sidebar and serves up fries, sandwiches, and nachos…but these aren’t your average fries, sandwiches, and nachos. Their fries are Asparagus Fries ($7) and Pork Poutine ($6.25); their sandwiches include Apple Butter Salmon ($13), WSL Angus Sandwich ($13.50), The Kraken ($14), and even a Shepard’s Pie Burger ($11.25); and their nachos are actually Duck Nachos ($11) and are made with confit pulled duck, smoked gouda, and roasted onion sour cream. They also have a make-your-own quesadilla bar, variety of salads including their Thai Pear Salad ($11) and Orchard Spinach Salad ($11), and entrees that range from the likes of a Ginger Snap Salmon ($23.50) to Chicken and Cheese Polenta ($15.75) to Braised Pork Shank ($19.25).
YOU MIGHT LIKE: 800 Maple Serves Consistent Quality
On the fancier side, the Dining Room offers a more intimate experience with the same gorgeous views of the Niagara River. For lunch you can enjoy many of the same menu items from The River Sidebar including Pork Belly Planks ($9), Caribbean Crab Cakes ($12.50), Wedge Caesar salad ($6.50), Log Jam Burger ($11.50), Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich ($11.25), Shrimp and Mussels Rabano ($19), and Smoked Gouda Bake ($12) in addition to any of the menu items from the preceding paragraph. For dinner things get kicked up a notch, and while you can still get some offerings from the lunch menu you can also get their Soup du Jour ($5 cup, $7 bowl), Certified Black Angus Filet Mignon ($32), and Sea Bass ($29.75).
We arrived at about 7 or so on a Friday evening and, looking to feel fancy, put our name in for a table at the Dining Room. There was about an hour-long wait so we decided to go down to The Patio and grab some drinks and listen to the band. A few songs, couple of Corona’s, and roughly a thousand photographs later we headed back up to the Dining Room to check on our table. With 15 minutes to go we decided to see what the bar service on the flip side was like and ordered a couple cocktails from the bar. Being a complete drink-noob, when asked what kind of drink I’d like I told the bartender “something fruity made with literally any type of alcohol as long as it tastes good”. While some bartenders might roll their eyes at this type of request, the bartender at Water Street pleasantly accepted my challenge and whipped up a concoction that was as good looking as it was tasty. As of now it has yet to be officially added to their cocktail list, but it only cost $5 and was custom-made just for me which is a solid win in my book.
The service was a bit slower than at some other restaurants, but with so much to look at, listen to, and sip on we didn’t mind the wait. Soon we were told our table was ready and were taken to our seats which were large, cozy, and right in front of the window giving us an awesome and comfortable view of the Niagara River. We ordered a glass of wine from their list and promptly began ogling the dinner options/drooling on our menus. After lots of deliberation we finally made some decisions. We ordered:
- Lobster Bisque soup ($6 cup, $8 bowl)
I’m pretty picky when it comes to Lobster anything, and this one passed the test and then some. The bowl was big enough to share between two people, and the soup was just the right consistency with just the right amount of lobster meat. It also went exceptionally well with the fresh bread we were given…which we may or may not have ordered 3 loaves of.
- Frenched Chicken Breast ($21.50)
Another one of my all-time favorite dishes, this one hit the spot. Garlic and brown sugar pan seared free range boneless breast and drummette topped with a warm ginger butter sauce on a bed of lemon risotto served with roasted asparagus. The risotto complimented the chicken perfectly, and I had enough left over to take home and enjoy a second meal. My stomach actually just growled.
- Lobster Pasta ($27.50)
This was probably my favorite thing I got to taste during our visit to Water Street Landing. Cold water lobster tail (already opened up for you, so no cracking required) with tarragon sun-dried tomato sherry cream sauce over fettuccine pasta. Once again the lobster meat ratio was spot on and the combination of ingredients went perfectly together. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a sherry cream sauce before but this one was so delicious that it’s all I want to eat for the rest of my life. We also had enough of this to take home for a second meal, which made for a very happy Saturday.
Bottom line: We were too full to try a lot of dishes at Water Street Landing, but the few we did have combined with the views, atmosphere, and menu has guaranteed that we’ll be back to give the rest a go. If you like good food, good drinks, great views, and lots of options, you’ll definitely like Water Street Landing. Mix it all together and you know that it’s the best of both worlds.