Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rooftops Revisited

(Photo: Courtesy of Gramercy Park Hotel)
Stop what you are doing and read the only piece of info you will need this summer!
Thank you NY Magazine for this riviting article to be printed, saved and forwarded.

Rooftops Revisited
Whether it's ever ostentatious 230 Fifth, a hidden gem atop a budget hotel, or the first "adult rooftop," there are plenty of options for tippling on top of the world.
By Carla Spartos , Lauren Fonda & Daniel Maurer

230 Fifth
230 Fifth Ave., nr. 27th St.., twentieth fl.; 212-725-4300
If the Miami Vice boys wanted somewhere to land their chopper, not only would the city's largest rooftop bar be spacious enough, but Sonny and Rico would feel right at home among the palm trees and the endless expanse of wooden benches.
The View: The Empire State Building to the north, the MetLife building to the east, and Jersey to the west.
The Menu: $15 cocktails incorporate fresh grape and pear juices; bar snacks range from fried shrimp to the Malaysian Romli Burger.
The Hours: Daily, 4 p.m.–4 a.m.

60 Thompson, 60 Thompson St., nr. Broome St.; 877-431-0400
Hotelier Jason Pomeranc's elegant members-only rooftop bar happens to be less exclusive than it seems. Sure, gaining access is a helluva lot easier if you're his gal pal Shannen Doherty, but would-be partiers can also score a key card by getting a room.
The View: The thirteenth-floor terrace showcases the skylines of midtown and lower Manhattan.
The Menu: Mixed drinks with fresh exotic fruits run $10–$14 while the spicy Thai hors d'oeuvre are similarly priced at $12–$16.
The Hours: Daily, 5 p.m.–midnight through Labor Day

Bar 13
35 E. 13th St., at University Pl.; 212-979-6677
NYU students who couldn't make it to Florida for spring break seek solace at this campus clubhouse, which opened its Miami-themed rooftop garden in June. Amid the palms and illuminated panels, revelers can pretend they're in South Beach—and of legal drinking age.
The View: Opaque screens surrounding the deck mean the only place to look is up.
The Menu: Well drinks are $6, while the 13-ini, the bar's signature Absolute Mandarin–based beverage, costs $7.
The Hours: Mon., 7 p.m.–midnight; Tues., 6 p.m.–3 a.m.; Wed.–Fri., 5 p.m.–4 a.m.; Sat., 9 p.m.–4 a.m.; Sun., 10 p.m.–4 a.m.

Library Hotel, 299 Madison Ave., at 41st St.; 212-983-4500
With its brick walls, lovely floral displays, and abundance of reading material, the terrace of the Library Hotel's rooftop bar could pass for the patio of an Upper East Side townhouse.
The View: The majestic Lefcourt building rises across the street.
The Menu: Elegant concoctions like the $12 Chambord Royale, which artfully blends Stoli Vanilla, Chambord, and fresh grapefruit juice.
The Hours: Mon.–Sat., 4 p.m.–midnight; Sun., closed
(Photo: Yun Cee Ng)

Cabana at the Maritime Hotel
Maritime Hotel, 363 W. 16th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-242-4300
Of all the red-hot cocktail aeries that have opened in the past few years, Cabana at the Maritime fulfills the fantasy best. In the summer, this place feels like a trendy L.A. nightclub: heat lamps, leafy plants, tropical wallpaper, strappy sandals, blue cushions, halter tops, and even some celebrities.
The View: Sean Penn, Sam Rockwell, and the sisters Hilton have been sighted in the past.
The Menu: No more frozen mojito, but cool off with a bottle of sake or a martini with fresh lychee juice ($12).
The Hours: Tue.–Wed., 7 p.m.–1 a.m.; Thurs.–Sat., 9 p.m.–3 a.m.; Sun.–Mon., closed.

The Delancey
168 Delancey St., at Clinton St.; 212-254-9920
At this time of year, the rooftop is this rock club's main draw. As for the bouncer guarding the staircase, he's there to prevent overcrowding, not to grade your outfit. And though lots of bars hype tar roofs as alfresco, this space actually has it going on in a southern-greenhouse sort of way, with benches, fountains, even a grill.
The View: A clear shot of the Williamsburg Bridge.
The Menu: The margarita machine churns out frozen blends for $8 apiece. Meanwhile, bottled beer and well drinks run a reasonable $6.
The Hours: Daily, 5 p.m.–4 a.m.

The Heights Bar & Grill
2867 Broadway, nr. 111th St..; 212-866-7035
Students and locals flock to this second-story Morningside Heights bar with its semi-retractable roof. You'll pay $6 for a margarita, but dude, you'll be so wasted you won't even care.
The View: The only thing that will make you feel high up are your beer goggles.
The Menu: Frozen margaritas ($4 during happy hour from 5 p.m.–7 p.m.; $6–$6.50 thereafter) and stuffed-to-bursting burritos ($5.50 to $11.95)
The Hours: Mon.–Wed., 4:30 p.m.–11 p.m., Thurs.–Sun., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.

Hotel Metro Rooftop Bar
Hotel Metro, 45 W. 35th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-279-3535
We'll grant you it's a bit sketchy, but this rooftop jam is surprisingly fun, with cheap beer and an unpretentious after-work crowd.
The View: A close-up of the Empire State BuildingThe Menu: $5 cans of Bud or $6 bottles of Corona ($3, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.)
The Hours: Currently closed for construction.
Reopens in July 2007.

Hudson Sky Terrace
The Hudson Hotel, 356 W. 58th St., Ninth Ave..; 212-554-6303
Now this is a summer camp we'll never-ever-ever write tear-stained letters—gasp!—begging you to—sob!—pick us up from. Pinky swear. Why just look at the brochure: fanciful cocktails, table servants (excuse us, service), even a hammock. But since our mom won't give us the money to stay here, we'll be prowling for plastered hotel guests in the Library Bar.
The View: A fifteenth-floor terrace affords glimpses of the Hudson River as well as Ninth Avenue stretching toward lower Manhattan
The Menu: Refreshments like the Strawberry Coconut Caipirinha and White Sangria practically scream summertime.
The Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. through October

Jade Terrace
China Club, 268 W. 47th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-398-3800
Off the packed and sweaty dance floor, an Asian-themed terrace offers a serene palm-frond oasis. Unlike the other rooftops on this list, the Jade Terrace is primarily a dance club, so if you're looking to avoid cover charges, beefy bouncers, and a hey-baby vibe, go elsewhere.
The View: A walled-in fourth-floor terrace results in neckcraning to see the Times Square towers.
The Menu: Summer drinks ($9 to $15) include mojitos, a white sangria made with champagne instead of wine, and a cocktail incorporating mango vodka and lemon and lime juices.
The Hours: Mon. and Thurs. to Sat, 10 p.m.–4 a.m.; Sun. and Tues., closed

Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
641 W. 51st St., at Twelfth Ave.; 212-247-2460
The vision of the West Side Highway from the new "adult rooftop" wouldn't inspire anyone to propose to his girlfriend, but that's just fine for the cigar puffers who aren't thinking of marriage when they're staring at the busty barmaid.
The View: Banker wankers killing bills on silicone sisters.
Menu: The Hustler no longer serves food, so make do with a beer or cocktail.
The Hours: Mon-Fri ($20 cover), 6 p.m.–4 a.m.; Sat ($25), 8 p.m.–4 a.m.; Sun (free), 8 p.m.–2 a.m.

Local West
1 Penn Pl., Eighth Ave. at 33rd St.; 212-629-7070
Okay, so not much is exhilarating about the rooftop of a one-story building, but those looking to unwind before their train back to the burbs could do worse than snagging a seat at the smattering of tables or at the elevated patio bar atop this casual beer bar near Penn Station.
The View: Chat up the folks on the upper decks of the tour buses that constantly roll by.
Menu: Sliders, nachos, chicken tenders: You get the idea. Pomegranate martini, $10; beers, $8.
The Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.–2 a.m.

Mé Bar
17 W. 32nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; fourteenth fl.; 212-290-2460
This Koreatown rooftop boîte, hidden atop the La Quinta budget hotel, is the antidote to karaoke-room claustrophobia. Although throw pillows and beach chairs lend a beach-house vibe, the drink prices are decidedly left of Hamptons.
The View: Who cares that you're drinking with tourists when the Empire State Building is all aglow directly overhead.
The Menu: A sheaf of delivery menus rescues those swayed by the pomegranate martini, made with liqueur and cranberry juice. During the 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m. happy hour, a $1 discount means $4–$5 beers and $5–$8 wines.
The Hours: Daily, 5:30 p.m.–midnight.

The Park
118 Tenth Ave., nr. 17th St.; 212-352-3313
Our young spies say that the Park, which has seen scads of A-list celebs and Vice-toting debs pass through its kooky environs over the years, shows zilch signs of cooling (hell, Gisele Bundchen threw a modelicious bash here, so there you have it). But just as sexy as its patrons is the rooftop penthouse, complete with a hot tub that's known to get especially naughty on Sunday nights, when the boys come out for a romp in "The Rambles."
The View: Eye candy compensates for a lackluster third-floor-level take on West Chelsea.
The Menu: Nobody's here for the food: It's all about the sangria, $11 fresh-fruit cocktails such as the banana coolata (vanilla, Kalhua, fresh banana purée, and sweetened coconut milk) and mango and raspberry mojitos.
The Hours: Fri.–Sat., 11 p.m.–4 a.m,; Mon.–Thurs., Sun.–closed

The Pen-Top Bar & Terrace
The Peninsula Hotel, 700 Fifth Ave., at 55th St.; 212-903-3097
The Pen-Top's clubby vibe and Astroturf has been replaced with a new glass-encased bar resembling a big block of incandescent ice. Kinda cool in a slick 007 way, but sorta cheesy and souped-up Mars 2112, too. Still, there's no shortage of tables on the sizable slate-topped terrace. The View: Stunning views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park, as well as midtown architectural gems like the Citicorp Center.
The Menu: $20 apple martinis and the $80 Jewel in a Glass (Louis Roederer Cristal and Dolce Far Niente) keep out the riffraff.
The Hours: Sun., 3 p.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 4 p.m.–1 a.m.; Mon.–Thurs., 4 p.m.–midnight through September 30
(Photo: Noah Kalina)

Hotel Gansevoort, 18 Ninth Ave., at 13th St.; 877-426-7386
Elbow your way into the elevator and travel up to the hip and hellishly crowded Plunge, in the fifteen-floor penthouse. You'll exit directly into the bar area, which is open when the weather is warm and covered by a glass greenhouselike structure when it's rainy or chilly.
The View: Great shots of lower Manhattan and New Jersey, not to mention the Soho House's pool.
The Menu: Basic cocktails start at $14.
The Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.–4 .a.m.
(Photo: Courtesy of Gramercy Park Hotel)

Private Roof Club and Garden at Gramercy Park Hotel
Gramercy Park Hotel; 2 Lexington Ave., at 21st St.; 212-920-3300
Like the downstairs Rose Bar, the indoor space takes its cues from a Renaissance palace; add to that an outdoor space that resembles a tropical greenhouse and you have one of the most covereted members-only hangouts in the city.
The View: A Blade Runner–inspired light installation and paintings by Andy Warhol and designer Damien Hirst are as alluring as the panorama of Manhattan.
The Menu: Cocktails from the downstairs bar and room-service items such as caviar and croque monsieurs.
The Hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m.–midnight.

Rare View
Shelburne Murray Hill, 303 Lexington Ave., at 37th St.; 212-481-1999
Rare Bar & Grill, the popular hamburger eatery inside the Shelburne, has taken charge of the hotel's roof bar and decked it out with tables, chairs, and an elevated bed. The efforts have paid off as twentysomething Murray Hillers are making this a pre-party pit stop. Just don't say we didn't warn you about the bathroom lines.
The View: A sixteenth-floor bar with outstanding midtown views, including the Chrysler Building
The Menu: $15 mango margaritas and blood-orange cosmos, as well as hulking burgers downstairs in the grill.
The Hours: Mon.–Sat., 4:30 p.m.–11 p.m.; Sun., closed

Roof Garden Cafïé
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St.; 212-535-7710
So...if that Andy Goldsworthy sculpture could speak, what do you think it would say? We'll let you puzzle that out, up on the romantic rooftop of the Met, where art, hot Italian tourists, frozen daiquiris, and colossal Central Park views converge into one juggernaut of a drinking experience. If you can't manage a pickup line in a place like this, well, then, you're hopeless.
The View: A fifth-floor garden surrounded by the park, its skyline, and sculpture installations that change every summer.
The Menu: Sparkling wine and ham-and-brie baguettes.
The Hours: Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Tues.–Thurs. and Sun., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Mon, closed, open May–October

The Terrace at Sutton Place Bar and Restaurant
1015 Second Ave., nr. 53rd St.; 212-207-3777
The good news first: Sutton Place has a huge rooftop patio with lots of tables and a long, snaking bar worthy of Club Med. The bad news: It's a tad bland in that East Side sports-guy kind of way. Apparently some people just feel more comfortable in khakis.
The View: A third-floor terrace overlooking Second Avenue.
The Menu: $8 cocktails and generic pub grub
The Hours: Sun.–Wed., noon–1 a.m.; Thurs.–Sat., noon–4 a.m.

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