Now that the weather has finally warmed up, you’ll want nothing more than to be outdoors in the sunshine and breathing that fresh spring-scented air. Dining al fresco at a sidewalk café is always a nice way to relax on the weekends but the view isn’t always appealing. Who wants to look at people cleaning up after their dogs and inhaling taxi cab exhaust while they eat lunch? Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of high rises in the city, you’re options are numerous if you want to eat outside but without the distractions of the streets of Manhattan. Here are five of our favorite rooftop eateries and lounges to help you escape from the city’s hustle and bustle this spring.
Haven Rooftop at the Sanctuary Hotel (132 West 47th Street)
This rooftop escape, right in the heart of Midtown, overlooks the bright lights of Times Square. With its European-inspired lounge feel you’ll forget all about the crowds rushing by on the crowded Times Square streets. Due to Haven’s amazing proximity to the theaters found down below in Times Square, they offer theater buffs a 3-course prix fixe for $39 when you show your ticket stub. Menu highlights include Calamari a la Plancha with sautéed zucchini and mixed greens, the Gnocchi with cremini and shitake mushrooms in a creamy Parmesan and white truffle oil sauce, and the Baja-style Corn on the Cobb side. An aptly-named cocktail at Haven is the Night Sky, a martini made with Van Gogh Acai Blueberry Vodka and freshly prepared lemonade.
The DL (95 Delancey at Ludlow)
A tri-level restaurant, bar, and rooftop lounge, The DL will give you an entirely new perspective of the Lower East Side. The spacious outdoor patio space on the third floor has a retractable roof allowing for the space to be utilized all year. With amazing views of the Williamsburg Bridge, The DL is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and head up stairs to dance the night away. Check their website for their Live Art Showcases with Dinner and DJ events. Must-try menu items are the Foie Gras Terrine with fig compote, frisee, and croutons and the Steak Frites, a dry-aged NY strip with Parmesan truffle fries and a 5 peppercorn sauce. Pair the glamorous and delicious Dragon Martini with your meal made with Stoli Vodka, passion fruit juice, champagne, simple syrup, and a drop of grenadine.
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel (145 East 50th Street)
High above the city is the Upstairs at the Kimberly—the highest rooftop dining in all of Manhattan. At 30 stories, Upstairs offers its diners breathtaking views of the iconic Chrysler Building along with 360° panoramic views of the city. Also open year round, Upstairs offers diners a sunny and sophisticated dining space in the warmer months and a chic winter hideaway during the cold months. Specializing in creative cocktails, created by Alex Ott and The Kimberly Staff, and small plates, Upstairs is the ideal place for an after work bite to eat or Sunday morning brunch. Small plate menu items range from Cripsy Baby Artichokes with grated Parmesan and fresh lemon, Spiced Duck Cigars with pomegranate dipping sauce, to Lobster Sliders with dill, tarragon, and crispy shallots. From their signature cocktail menus, the Midtown “a novel in a glass” inspired by Jack Kerouac is a bourbon-based cocktail with fresh raspberries and chamomile.
JIMMY at The James Hotel—SoHo (27 Grand Street)
With an awe-inspiring view of the Manhattan skyline, JIMMY is a contemporary interpretation of the classic pub with a 1970’s New York twist. JIMMY opens nightly at 5pm for both the public and guests of the hotel. JIMMY offers its guests a wide assortment of custom cocktails that can also be enjoyed poolside on the pool deck in the warmer months. Otherwise, the deck is closed during the winter but the breathtaking view remains. A perfect cocktail for the warmer months is the topical Pimm’s Kiwi Cup, made with Farmer’s Organic Gin, Pimm’s No. 1, and kiwi topped with Sprite and garnished with a cucumber spear. To snack on with your drinks, JIMMY has a whole line up of bar snacks in a jar ranging from the savory Chicken Liver/Prune/Pistachio Jar to the more laid back summer snack, the White Bean and Chorizo Hummus Jar. Craving a sweet snack after? Try the David Burke Cheesecake Lollipop Tree. Burke has a restaurant, David Burke Kitchen and the Garden at David Burke within The James Hotel.
Cantor Roof Garden & Martini Bar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue)
For a quick bite to eat after submerging yourself in the culture and art works of the MET head to the fifth floor to the Cantor Roof Garden & Martini Bar. Although this rooftop garden café lacks fine dining amenities the view overlooking Central Park makes up for it. Basic cocktails are available as well as snacks and a line of sandwiches. Cantor’s sandwich lineup includes a Roasted Turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese and Cajun slaw, a Fresh Mozzarella sandwich with blistered peppers, arugula, and basil pesto and a Roast Beef sandwic h with cheddar cheese and sweet barbequed onions all decently priced at $9.75.