Story by: Ella Keeven | Edited by: Michaela Guzy
We are approaching the final stretch of winter. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, which means that spring is right around the corner, and I’m beginning to feel nostalgic for a rooftop cocktail. While there happen to be an abundance of year round rooftops here in in NYC, I have outlined the best that fall into some key categories: New & Noteable, View, Party Time, Low Key, and Brooklyn
New & Noteable: Conosur
Opened last summer as La Piscine, the roof bar at the Hotel Americano in Chelsea switches gears, come November, into a winter wonderland called Conosur. If you have been to La Piscine during the summer, you will be pleasantly surprised at how the space is completely transformed from open and airy to intimate and cozy. The candlelit space dons heat lamps, sheepskin covered chairs, and rustic wood and iron tables. The pool is heated up to a toasty 95 degrees and opens up to non hotel guests at 6pm. After you have enjoyed a Viedma (Vodka, beet juice, agave syrup) or the Magellan (house Mezcal, absinthe, agave, St. Germain, burnt orange zest, served hot) poolside, head into the main area for a selection of fondues, charcuterie, and Argentinian inspired entrees such as the Bife De Chorizo, an 8oz NY strip steak, bone marrow, and chimichurri.
Good View: Jimmy at the James
Jimmy is pretty much the same in the winter as it is in the summer. Except that you will not find bikini clad patrons lounging near the pool. I realize that sounds less exciting, but the view is breathtaking, most notably, from the women’s restroom, which will likely give you a bit of vertigo. Cocktail ingredients are made in-house, including syrups, bitters, fresh squeezed juices, and garnishes and herbs from the hotel’s own organic garden. A favorite is the Mexican Bee Hive (silver tequila, honey, lavender syrup, lime juice and a chunk of amber honeycomb). The crowd is well heeled, the cocktails are stiff, the music will keep you rocking all night long on an impromptu dance floor, and it’s quaint, so it maintains an intimate vibe.
Party Time: Le Bain at The Standard Hotel
If you are looking to party, then party you shall atop The Standard Hotel on the High Line at Le Bain. The winter time line up brings you some of the best DJs and indie rock. For those who are willing to give up all pretense, there is a jacuzzi in the dance floor that is usually full of partially naked sexy people. Not for the faint of heart, you will need to dress your best, bring your credit card with the highest limit, highest heels, swankiest outfit, and it doesn’t hurt to show up with any celebrity friends you might have.
Low Key: La Birreria
Beer is the name of the game at La Birreria, the rooftop beer garden that overlooks Madison Square Park. They offer over 20 bottles, as well as a house-made selection. Beer lovers will be happy to know that La Birreria has collaborated with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Teo Musso of Baladin and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra Del Borgo, to brew unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated Cask Ales right there on the rooftop. There are views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings, and the menu offers up house made sausages, formaggi, salumi, fungi, and a delicious pork shoulder.
Brooklyn: The Ides at the Wythe Hotel
The Ides, on top of the Wythe Hotel has quickly become Brooklyn’s hippest rooftops (albeit, one of the few) since opening last summer. If you are familiar with the team behind Marlow & Sons, Diner and Romans, then you’ll have an idea of the look and feel. But, if you are not a New Yorker, it’s what we New Yorkers would describe as “very Brooklyn”; white tiny tile floors, dark walls, brown leather banquettes, white marble slab table tops, with an old-timey look. The feel is fancy, the cocktails and wines are off the beaten path and change seasonally (note that I was not able to find a menu online, so you will just have to check it out yourself. Shucks.), and there are lots of beards.
Hopefully this will get you through the remainder of winter. Viva spring!