The return of the beautiful outdoor dining experience in New York
Dismantle the fabricated street Covid caves that appeared as quickly as the virus spread. Demolish the two-by-fours, the plexiglass windows, the heat lamps and the fake flowers. True, they achieved their goal and saved many restaurateurs from total financial ruin, but the days of eating in the parking lots seem to be coming to an end.
New York City has been one of the regions of the world hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but as NYC has lived up to its reputation by weathering the storm and showing its resilience and indomitable spirit, it therefore defended his return to normal. by reopening the experience of a real meal in the open air.
A classic spot that promises lovely alfresco dining is Tavern of the Green. Seen in films such as Ghostbusters, Beaches, Wall Street and New York Stories, Tavern on the Green, just steps from Columbus Circle, is that light at the end of the tunnel that we recognized as hope just a few months ago.
The outdoor space of Tavern on the Green surrounds diners in a bucolic ambience while the sounds of the city, pulsating just above the greenery, are a reminder that yes, New York City is resilient and unstoppable. Tavern on the Green raises the bar for dining in New York City, combining simplicity and sophistication. Just steps from Sheep Meadow in Central Park, the restaurant, which even features sheep in its logo, has been frequented over the years by celebrities including Beyoncé, Liz Taylor, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Jennifer Lawrence. The dress code is smart and casual, and the choice of this chic establishment is simply classy.
Food and drink selections are varied and expertly created. A main course not to be missed is the grilled speckled trout. Pair it with pinot or a cocktail such as ‘Hot as a Cucumber’ served by exuberant and knowledgeable waiters, and you will surely feel like a triumphant New Yorker after a year of turmoil.
A short hike downtown, and the traveler in search of the beauty of the new normal can step into the festive atmosphere of Cantina Rooftop. There’s something transporting here as you walk through party halls to reach the top, a rooftop lounge with vibrant Mexican decor and a pulsating, hedonistic musical vibe. There is evidence here, as in most establishments, that Covid is still lurking in the nooks and crannies; the plexiglass walls separate the guests. However, this is not all bad. The restaurant balances the feeling of protection with a unique umbrella mosaic ceiling that creates a canopy of prismatic light, which, like the soft light of candles, increases the celebratory smile of any diners.
Even though it is raining, I doubt anything can hold back the spirit created here. The round rooftop oasis offers a modern twist to traditional Mexican dishes courtesy of Chef Saul Monteil. Start with fresh guacamole and fine nachos, add a plate of Enschiladas Con Pollo and top it off with cocktails served in a live pineapple with sparklers.
The decor extends the Mexican metaphor with numerous Day of the Dead images and murals, but fear not. The romance of a beautiful outdoor space in a city of hope will wash away any raindrops, skeletons and lingering sadness. The future is bright at Cantina Rooftop.
Nothing recalls the resilience and beauty of New York’s outdoor spaces like being high up and yet being spied on by the Empire State Building. This icon of the metropolis is the perfect backdrop for the misunderstood beast in all of us, rising above the frenzied madness for a moment of peace. The Spyglass Rooftop Bar offers such a scenario, and beauty is the dominant force here, the night sky, the platters of tasty bites shared with friends, the twinkling lights reflecting in the mirrors of everyone’s eyes.
A charcuterie board is perfect for a shared experience, for who wants to be alone on a rooftop? The Tuna Poke bursts with flavor, titillating the tongue, difficult to put into words. A cocktail such as Camo-berry, tequila, chamomile syrup, mashed blackberries and lime, on a rooftop in a city that never sleeps, gives the term The Great Outdoors a new name.
On the same block in Manhattan as Spyglass, Refinery Rooftop offers another beautiful outdoor space. Atop the Refinery Hotel, a reimagining of the original building that served as a Prohibition-era hat factory and teahouse, is a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. The marriage of rustic and industrial reflects the simpler days of maskless gatherings, unnecessary multitasking, and social distancing dependent on attraction.
However, as hope returns to New York’s nightlife, the roof of the refinery shines as one of the emblems of the city itself. Guests are surrounded by tall buildings and steel beams (the roof over one of the indoor / outdoor spaces) and comforted by their specialties of Grilled Hanger Steak Flatbread and Little Gem Caesar Salad.
As no life is complete without an omakase experience, a visit to Sushi Lab Rooftop is mandatory. Despite the name, this is no place for experimenting with raw fish, unless you want to sample an astonishing menu of glorious tasting selections. With presentation that rivals taste, their dishes simultaneously stimulate many senses. Seared salmon and spicy tuna tartare enhance an eclectic menu. They offer laboratory classics, a chef’s menu for heavy eaters, handmade buns as well as sushi and sashimi.
The outdoor space of Sushi Lab is certainly also special. The plexiglass dividers go unnoticed when looking up at a canopy of leaves creating a natural atmosphere that almost makes you forget that there has already been a 2020. The canopy also gives the illusion that you are not. not in New York, not at the epicenter, not even concerned with social distancing. The natural elements act as an escape and a reminder that life has a way of repairing itself.
Another fun and picturesque outdoor space is the VERSA rooftop restaurant. One of the many rooftop experiences available in the Garment District, VERSA reopened in June 2020, one of many establishments that have braved challenges and thrived. This 8,000 square foot open-air rooftop offers unobstructed views of the Empire State Building as well as Hudson Yards.
VERSA, which is operated by the respected Backal Hospitality Group, is located on the fifth floor of the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel (ironically, renaissance means rebirth), has a dignified atmosphere with natural elements and offers a robust menu with specialties such as as sea salt shishitos, pastrami sliders with butter bun, and Connecticut lobster roll.
Finally, one could admire the beauty of the almost normal sixteen floors of downtown New York. The Loopy Doopy rooftop bar atop the Conrad Downtown Hotel offers magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, the place where so many have gone through their own tumultuous journey in search of normalcy simple and even an opportunity for success. For the 2021 traveler, just seeking a return to his familiar without prefabricated sanitation structures that will forever remind us of the pandemic, the fresh air and iconic landscapes are half the cure.
The good drink and food, as well as the fun atmosphere of the Loopy Doopy rooftop bar provide the rest. Besides the exclusive cocktails, the bar offers a unique take on a spiked popsicle called Mom & Icepops Boozy Pop in flavors such as Raspberry Moscow Mule and Lemon Jasmin-Gin served in a choice of prosecco or rosecco on tap or Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial. Their culinary offerings include kettle corn popcorn, hummus and sumac pita chips, roast chicken salad sliders, and a four citrus ceviche.
Finally, if enjoying the light of the future means washing away the darkness of the past, then a beautiful outdoor space must include a rooftop pool. The Gansevoort Hotel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District is a hotel that offers the bar, lounge and swimming pool.
After undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation earlier this year, this downtown oasis is a unique getaway for guests and locals alike. Surrounded by comfortable seating and chic neon art, guests can enjoy sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River while enjoying innovative and refreshing cocktails and elevated bites. Think: Pekin Duck Drumettes, a riff on your standard chicken wings. The heated rooftop swimming pool is open to guests until 9 p.m. and the rooftop for guests until 4 a.m. The hotel’s highly anticipated Omakase pop-up bar opens next week, Saishin on the roof of Gansevoort, in partnership with the growing Kissaki. Saishin will be an 850 square foot space that can accommodate up to 50 people, including a 16-seat omakase bar, from July to January 2022.
The light at the end of the tunnel that so many people have talked about and written about is brightening day by day. The rollercoaster of the pandemic is forcing travelers to buckle up if necessary, but New York continues to lead the way, showing that beautiful experiences will always and always exist after the plexiglass walls and the two-by-fours have all been reused. .