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Challenge - fun dinner followed by rooftop cocktails

LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 10:40 AM

I am taking the lead on building a late June Tuesday intinerary for 6 gals (30's/40's) to celebrate a birthday. Some are NYC people, some not anymore but all are very familiar with the city. We want to do a fun dinner -maybe on the lighter side such as tapas/small plates - followed by a rooftop for cocktails.

A few notes (Kathryn has trained me well!):

-Last time we went out we did Scarpetta followed by the Gansevoort which went over well.

-I already tried to make a rez at Casa Mono, but they are booked. My goal is to have a fun dinner vibe without the formality of sit down, several courses, etc. Would prefer a place with small plates with a bustling atmosphere. Don't want anything too dark. Going for more of a summery feel.

-My preference would be to stay below 34th Street. East or West is fine.

-The birthday girl must avoid spicy food, so any food rec must have options that avoid solely spicy cuisine.

-Everyone is gainfully employed, so we can go fairly high end on price. That said, the Gansevoort had some pricey cocktails. Would prefer nice atmosphere with a little more affordability if you have ideas.

-Would prefer the dinner and post-dinner venues to be close - even walking distance if possible.


  1. e
    eameyer Jun 10, 2009 01:22 PM

    Second Bar Stuzzicchini and 230 Fifth. They also just opened a rooftop bar on the top of the Giraffe Hotel on Park, may be worth checking out.

    In response to previous posts suggesting Above Allen and 60 Thompson, I'm pretty sure these rooftops are both members only.

    1. Kaelin Jun 8, 2009 03:21 PM

      For dinner, I'd go to Alta, in the West Village. Fun atmosphere, an extremely extensive menu of to-die-for-small plates (especially the eggplant dip, the bacon-wrapped dates and olives, and the brussel sprouts -- I don't love brussel sprouts, but I love these brussel sprouts). Good wine list, great cocktails. Not too expensive, so you can splurge on the drinks with a view.

      Menu: http://www.altarestaurant.com/?q=munc...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kaelin
        LBNJNY Jun 10, 2009 05:41 AM

        That menu looks awesome. Any ideas for an outdoor spot or rooftop nearby?

      2. n
        notsochubbychubette Jun 8, 2009 12:34 PM

        go to rare, then head upstairs to rare view.

        1 Reply
        1. re: notsochubbychubette
          LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 01:00 PM

          Thanks - been there before!

        2. LeahBaila Jun 8, 2009 12:19 PM

          This goes outside of your requested zone, but I would consider something along the lines of Caselulla, then the Hudson Terrace.


          3 Replies
          1. re: LeahBaila
            LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 01:00 PM

            Thanks Leah - we can travel up that way. Hudson Terrace looks pretty. Any idea abut the crowd factor or if a space rez is necessary?

            1. re: LBNJNY
              LeahBaila Jun 8, 2009 01:05 PM

              You're welcome. HT is the newest of the rooftop bars and could possibly give 230 Fifth a run-for-its-money. We're having a party there later on this week (for about 60) and reservations were obviously required. For a group of your size, I would call ahead and inquire.


              1. re: LBNJNY
                YummyInTheCity Jun 8, 2009 01:41 PM

                This is also outside of your zone but the roof at Empire Hotel near Lincoln center is also really nice - drinks are probably like 230 fifth.

                The Empire Rooftop
                44 W 63rd St, New York, NY 10023

            2. b
              boccalupo Jun 8, 2009 11:03 AM

              Boqueria and 230 5th might work.

              9 Replies
              1. re: boccalupo
                LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 11:24 AM

                That 230 Fifth looks really nice. Have you been there? Does it get super-crowded? I love Boqueria on Spring - it's one of the places I was kicking around. have not been to the other one in a while but it could work. Thanks so much for the idea and I'd love to hear your thoughts on 230 Fifth.

                1. re: LBNJNY
                  thievery Jun 8, 2009 11:34 AM

                  most nice rooftops will be pricey per cocktail.

                  230 fith is a big sprawling rooftop bar. get's pretty crowded douchey depending on the night and weather. and ordering at the bar can get crowded in a shoving kinda a way. if you do go, try and reserve a table. things are mellower one floor down in the indoor bar. all of it however feels like you've stepped into an episode of miami vice. that said, the view is something else.

                  for boqueria on spring you can pair with the thompson hotel rooftop.

                  other thoughts:

                  casa mono + grammercy hotel rooftop (rez reqd). grammercy opens up options for a few good nearby restos -- eleven madison park, craft / craftbar...

                  stanton social or inoteca + new thompson hotel on allen st (only a second floor rooftop but still fun & trendy).

                  1. re: thievery
                    kissy28c Jun 8, 2009 11:42 AM

                    you may enjoy Inoteca on 24th & 3rd for small Italian plates and a lively atmosphere (formerly Bar Milano). http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/... Great mixed drink menu too...

                    1. re: thievery
                      LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 12:47 PM

                      Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply. Have you been to Thmpson and Gramercy rooftops - anyone better than the other?

                    2. re: LBNJNY
                      ABT Jun 8, 2009 11:46 AM

                      I've only been to 230 Fifth once, the year it opened, and it was mobbed. We had a space reserved, but getting the waitresses attention to get drinks was hard (And once our order was in, it took forever for the drinks to arrive). And moving around the rooftop was tough given the throngs of people crushed into the huge space.

                      1. re: LBNJNY
                        boccalupo Jun 8, 2009 12:58 PM

                        Maybe Tuesday won't be too crazy at 230 Fifth. See if you can reserve a table. Not my type of crowd, but if I am with a nice group of friends it can be fine. The two times I went it was fairly early in the evening and had not gotten super crowded yet.

                        If you are doing Soho you could also consider the Yard (Soho Grand Hotel) Not a rooftop, but also a nice place for a cocktail outdoors.

                        1. re: boccalupo
                          LBNJNY Jun 8, 2009 12:58 PM

                          Nice idea!

                      2. re: boccalupo
                        JungMann Jun 10, 2009 06:24 AM

                        And if not Boqueria, perhaps Bar Stuzzicchini would be a good match wit h230 Fifth.

                        1. re: JungMann
                          LBNJNY Jun 10, 2009 08:43 AM

                          Good thought as I think Boqueria does not take reservations.

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