When the weather in New York makes its long awaited shift from unbearably bitter cold to warm and sunny, you can actually feel the city come alive. New Yorkers are energized from their winter hibernation and waste no time partaking in their favorite summertime activities — for some it's running in the park or brunching al fresco, and for me, it's hitting up rooftop bars (and I have many, many allies in this).
While there’s certainly no shortage of rooftop hot spots in NYC, I happened to find the only one in Manhattan that stays open well into the winter months, too. Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel recently retracted their glass enclosure used for year-round entertaining to let in the summer sun and I made sure to be there for the happy occasion.
Thirty stories above street level, Upstairs exudes an elegant, sophisticated air without alienating any of its visitors. The dark leather chairs, ivy hanging from the walls, and strings of lights above all add to the simplistically-chic vibe without distracting from the beautiful panoramic views over Midtown. Oh, and the striking view of the Chrysler Building glistening in the distance, isn't too shabby either.
Taking a seat along the banquet, I immediately ran down the signature cocktail list in search of a refreshing concoction to go perfectly with the new season. The Watson, made with gin, cucumber, white cranberry juice, and fresh lime was exactly what the doctor ordered—no really, white cranberries and cucumbers have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Health benefits aside, it was deliciously light and extremely smooth for a martini especially before trying a few of their tapas-sized dishes which included stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese and pesto, crispy baby artichokes with grated parmesan and fresh lemon juice, and braised short rib and parmesan polenta served with spicy peanut sauce.
Typically not a fan of artichokes, this crispy fried version of them was satisfyingly good, and surprisingly, the small paper bag they were served in was quickly empty. But the best dish by far was the braised short rib, so tender and complemented well by the polenta; but it was the peanut sauce that made it. It was so decadent it could have been drunk with a straw (don't worry, I didn't).
After savoring my tasty cocktail(s) (who's counting?) and small bites, all that was left to do was soak up the sun and take in the views; not a bad way to welcome in the new season us New Yorkers have all been impatiently waiting for.
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel is open Monday through Wednesday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday and Friday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday for brunch 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Since graduating from Penn State University, Tara has dabbled in several different realms of the publishing world. From food writing to an opinion column to city guide editorials, her work can be seen in newspapers, luxury lifestyle magazines and various websites. As Associate for JustLuxe, she is busy sharpening her eye for all that is opulent around the world. She is also a freelance writer for ...(Read More)