Nautilus can't rely on a waterside location--it's across the street from the canal--and so it has to rely on its restaurant chops, and it does so quite successfully.
The dining room is nicely appointed with well-spaced tables covered in white tablecloths. The menu is grown-up too: starters include Chesapeake crab cakes with chipotle aioli, steamed mussels in a saffron-thyme broth and blackened sushi-grade tuna served with seaweed salad and mango coulis. Seafood entrees range from seared day-boat scallops and stuffed jumbo shrimp to almond-crusted tilapia, sole meuniere and sauteed brook trout with roasted pine nuts.
Land-lubbing mains are good too: skirt steak with caramelized onions, grilled veal chop, slow-roasted prime rib and roast Long Island duckling, to name a few.
Nautilus also boasts one of the Nautical Mile's most extensive wine lists, with more than 80 selections from Long Island, the West Coast, France and Italy. So popular is Nautilus's banana bread that you can take home a loaf for $4.95.