Classic Tables: The Water Club

Dine waterside at The Water Club

We don't often spend our nights slurping oysters Rockefeller and tearing into crab-stuffed lobster.

So we were giddy at the prospect of having dinner at The Water Club, the three-decades-on bastion of nautical glamour on the East River.

When a restaurant overlooks the river and is so close to the water that guests can hear wind whistling across the waves, it could be tempting for the kitchen to slip into stasis. Rest assured: This kitchen is plenty lively.

It demonstrates admirable seafood skills in dishes such as the aforementioned oysters ($17), a beautifully smoky combination of bivalve brine, chopped spinach and bacon. Carnivorous offerings are equally superb. Beef Wellington (pictured; $34) features a filet sheathed in mushroom duxelles and smothered in slices of foie gras and tucked into puff pastry. Complement the beef Wellington with scallion-laced mashed potatoes ($7), and finish with bananas Foster (pictured; $16), prepared tableside.

To celebrate The Water Club's 30th anniversary, gastronomic throwbacks will dot the menu all year long. This month, look for the scallop-and-cream hybrid Coquilles St. Jacques ($32).

And if you don't fancy a full-blown meal, dine on the rooftop deck when The Crow's Nest opens in May and will be serving 30 oysters for $30.

The Water Club, 500 E. 30th St. (at FDR Dr.); 212-683-3333 or thewaterclub.com