A Waterfront Setting Inspires Nautical Themes at Jersey City’s Maritime Parc

The open kitchen at Maritime Parc

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The latest upscale American restaurant to open in Jersey City, Maritime Parc, is a little different than earlier comers. For one, it sits inside Liberty State Park, with its excellent views of Manhattan. It’s also enormous, with three full floors of space inside its massive gray octagonal building.

“I recently turned 40, and I wanted to do something different,” Maritime Parc executive chef Chris Siversen says. “I saw the sign ‘Space Available’ and wondered what I could do with a 30,000 square foot building with two floors of event space.”

Siversen, a former chef with the Glazier Group, brought his expertise and experience to New Jersey, not too far from the restaurants in Manhattan where he mastered his craft.

“I’m blessed to come to work every day in a serene marina,” he says. “I love New Jersey, but my heart is also in New York City. This is the perfect mix.”

Acquired about a year ago, the Liberty State Park space has evolved into a 190-seat American restaurant, with emphasis on seafood and local, seasonal offerings. According to Siversen, the menu will change every few months.

All meat is locally sourced — chicken, quail, squab, pheasant, pork, and lamb come from farms in New Jersey. The restaurant is working with Zone 7, a service that connects chefs with New Jersey and Pennsylvania-based organic and sustainable farms.

Menu highlights include a raw bar and appetizers like grilled squid with harissa oil, warm olives, arugula, and cured lemon vinaigrette. Star entrees (ranging from $22-$36) include pan-roasted black cod and rib eye steak with bone marrow. Duck fat garlic fries are a heavenly indulgence, and Mash Potato Rings combine the eatability of onion rings with the homey, comforting taste of mashed potatoes.

Designed by mixologist Greg Seider, of Manhattan’s acclaimed Summit Bar, the creative cocktails are named after ships that were wrecked along the New Jersey coastline. At a launch dinner last week, Maritime Parc’s friendly bartenders urged me to try the San Saba, a blend of Correlejo Blanco tequila, pineapple puree, a hint of jalapeno and fresh lime juice, served on the rocks. The bar also offers a well-edited selection of microbrews and fine wines.

A separate bar menu offers casual, light dishes like the MP Bar Burger with Special Sauce and home relishes and pickles, duck fat fries, and Mash Potato Rings.

Designer Stephanie Goto, principal and founder of New York City design firm STEPHANIEGOTO, is responsible for the interior design of the space. Design highlights include a Guggenheim-inspired staircase and a contemporary chandelier made of fishing line.

“Designing the space was a two to three month process. For the restaurant, we took cues from nautical themes. We wanted the space to resemble a modern summer home, where you can spend an entire day,” says Goto. “I really admire the architecture of Finland, and the linear approach.”

While the restaurant is the main focus at Maritime Parc, given the location’s prime views and unhurried setting inside a state park, the owners can also expect to bring in plenty of special events, much like its neighbor, Liberty House.

The second floor of Maritime Parc — which, along with the third floor, is reserved exclusively for events — was designed to resemble a night sky, with “cloud ceiling” panels wrapped with translucent fabric and filled with rope light casting a serene glow on the hardwood floor. (The Maritime Parc logo is actually based on this memorable ceiling). The third floor has an open room with high, vaulted cedar ceiling and a wrap-around balcony with some of the most beautiful views of Downtown Manhattan around.

The restaurant hopes that its careful attention to detail and high-quality offerings set Maritime Parc apart from a typical waterfront bar and restaurant. Boats can dock at the restaurant and order “boat service”, a delivery service that brings fresh food from the restaurant directly to the marina.

“If you think you’re going to get off your boat at Liberty Landing Marina and have a Corona here,” Goto says, “you will definitely be surprised.”

THE DETAILS

Maritime Parc | 84 Audrey Zapp Drive | 201-413-0050 | maritimeparc.com

 

Laryssa Wirstiuk

is a writer who teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Born and raised in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. Check her blog Craft Your Drafts.