In late 2016, Smiths’ Boathouse Restaurant opened at Treasure Island Park in Troy.
The location is picturesque and steeped in history.
Conceived and funded by Hobart Brothers Co. and led by Edward and William Hobart, Treasure Island and Marina opened in 1946. The Boathouse was the center of activities including boat races, water skiing, family outings, dances and boat shows.
The restaurant, located on the Great Miami River, has been taken on by the Smith family, who has a long, impressive restaurant resume. The patio with expansive views of the river and greenery is one of the best in the entire region.
The menu features seafood, steaks and seasonal items.
You can go with a steak, but we don’t recommend it. The kitchen seemed to struggle with the temperatures of the red meat requested on our visit. Where the kitchen shined was with the seafood and several specialty menu items that were more than worthy of ordering.
The first was a tableside Caesar salad ($9 per person, two person minimum order) made based on the original recipe created in 1924 by Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico. Using a wood bowl they will mix 1/4 teaspoon ionized salt, sardines, minced fresh garlic, Worcestershire, dijon mustard, egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, cracked pepper, and a few ounces of olive oil. It is then emulsified into a dressing. This is a production and a show that is fun to watch with a little history lesson thrown in. Philip Smith, the general manager, told us they make $25-30 on a good weekend night and we can see why. The result is a Caesar salad that tastes more fresh, bright and lively than any you have had in a very long time.
The Maryland crab cakes ($14) were really fantastic. Two generously portioned jumbo crab cakes served with a cayenne and dill remoulade didn’t skimp on the fresh crab meat. They were the favorite appetizer by far and could be made into a meal with a salad and another shared app or some of the New England style clam chowder ($5 for a cup, $8 for a bowl).
Fried calamari ($9), shrimp cocktail ($12) and crab stuffed mushrooms ($12) were also quite good. The mini sliders ($10) were dry and another reminder to stick with the much better-executed seafood options.
Entrees we enjoyed included the Boathouse fish and chips ($18) and the jumbo sea scallops ($28).
In addition to offering up one of the best patios in the region, Smiths’ Boathouse has large rooms for parties and rentals. One room seats about 25 and the other 65 if you are looking to accommodate a larger group for an event.
To finish off the meal the Boathouse offers deserts made by Bakehouse Breads. If you call ahead and request it, you can have Bananas Foster. Otherwise you can get your sweet fix from dishes like lemon berry mascarpone cake, triple chocolate cake or a brownie sundae.
Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. featuring fresh fruits and salads, peel and eat shrimp with housemade cocktail sauce, an omelet station, Belgium waffles and the usual suspects like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, biscuits and sausage gravy. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are included. Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, Bellini’s and Sangria are a reasonable $4 a pop. Cost is $18 with $9 for children ages 5-12, $5 ages 3-5 and free for children 3 and younger.
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