Yesterday, after reading Uptown Collective's great review of La Marina, a new restaurant that just opened in Inwood, Stephen and I decided to try it out asap. We took the A-train up to the Dyckman stop and walked west to the river. For anyone who remembers the old marina, which was a graveyard of rotting boats, abandoned buildings, and punishingly loud cars ominously circling around under the West Side Highway, you'll be amazed by the transformation: La Marina is very mod, with lots of steel, glass, and stone, and sits right on the Hudson with perfect views of the water and of course the greatest bridge in the world: the George Washington. We made a reservation (via Open Table), and were seated immediately. Our only regret was the overcast sky, because there couldn't be a better place to watch a sunset. Our waiter was very friendly, and the frozen drinks (mango daiquiri and three-berry mojito) were strong, not too sweet, and served in the right kind of glass (without paper umbrellas and other such adornments that can make frozen drinks embarrassing). The appetizers -- fried calamari and crab cake -- were also great. My only quibble about the food was a seared tuna salad with four pieces of tuna about an inch long and the size of a thin french fry -- I guess it's fine if you're on a diet -- but Stephen's salmon was good. The music was festive without being too loud, and the crowd -- like the best places in uptown -- was what you could call very "mixed" (however you want to define it: old/young/gay/straight/black/white/Spanish/etc) without any of the hipster/moneyed attitude you sometimes find downtown or in "white-ppl Brooklyn." Everyone seemed very relaxed, in other words. It would be a perfect place to have a party or go with a larger group, since there's plenty of room to spread out up and down the shoreline. At one point after our second drink, I told Stephen that it felt like being on vacation: then, on the way out, we ran into another non-heterosexual couple we know who has lived uptown for many years, and one of the guys was like, "this place is amazing -- it's like being on vacation!" We'll definitely be going back -- hope to see some of you there.