Pair your dinner with unbeatable views at these sky-high restaurants
“The higher, the better” is a good motto to have when it comes to seeing Manhattan’s extraordinary skyline. Located high above street level, these four restaurants offer breathtaking views in spades, along with fantastic small plates, prix-fixes, and even dancing.
On the 107th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, Windows on the World was one of Manhattan’s most definitive restaurants—not because of the food per se, but because of its glitzy atmosphere and heart-stopping views that made it the city’s token castle in the sky. Although nothing can ever replace such an institution, the new One World Observatory brings a worthy new trio of dining options to the 100th floor of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building: One Café, One Mix, and—on the 101st-floor mezzanine just above—One Dine. While the former is a grab-and-go spot for Observatory visitors in need of a quick bite, the latter two are reasons alone to take the 47-second elevator ascent up to their lofty perch. One Mix offers small plates and cocktails inspired by artisans and native flavors of the city, while One Dine focuses on seasonal produce and fine wines, though note that reservations are required. (Fulton St. at West St.)
A designated New York City landmark, the Rainbow Room has been the destination of choice for the most romantic nights out on the town since the Great Depression. Set on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, it’s known for its Dinner and Dancing, its extravagant $125-per-head Sunday brunches, and its well-heeled clientele dressed to the nines. Following its reopening in 2014 after comprehensive renovations, the Rainbow Room’s famous compass-rose parquet wood dance floor is spinning once again, and there’s also now a wraparound terrace at the adjoining SixtyFive cocktail lounge, where those looking for a night less formal can instead indulge on small plates and drinks. Libations don’t come cheap—a classic Manhattan is $25—but remember what you’re paying for: visions of nearly the entire island, taken in from the center of the city. (Rockefeller Plaza nr. Fifth Ave.)
For first-time visitors to New York, seeing Times Square is an absolute must-do. But for those who don’t do well with crowds, or need a bit of respite after braving them, The View offers a different, well, view of it all. Forty-eight floors high atop the New York Marriot Marquis right in the thick of the Square, The View is the city’s only rooftop revolving restaurant, spinning like a slow-turning record as its patrons dine on fine American cuisine—prix-fixe menus include course options such as yellowtail crudo with black radish and vinaigrette and tamarind-glazed lamb with coriander foam—paired with one of the most impressive wine lists in this part of town. For theater-goers, it’s the perfect encore to any Broadway show, located in the surrounding blocks. (Broadway at 46th St.)
If you’re standing at the bottom western corner of Central Park on any given evening, look up, and you’ll see a certain restaurant glowing from inside with colorful light installations. This is Robert, the swanky dining room on the ninth floor of the Museum of Art & Design. With Mediterranean-fusion dishes like mango and coconut salad with lime emulsion and Hudson Valley duck in a chipotle chocolate sauce, an ultra-contemporary design, and nightly jazz, Robert channels up all of the creativity housed in the galleries on lower floors, and it further has a reputation for being the sexiest museum restaurant in town. The views straight out to Columbus Circle and further out over the park may have something to do with it. (Columbus Circle nr. 58th St.)
(Photo Credit: Robert)