The city has many rooftop lounges, and most of them are either full-blown shitshows, or spaces that are perpetually teetering on the brink of disaster. The crowds. The noise. The lack of seating. The sweat. The impossibly long wait for drinks. The agonizing line for the bathroom. The vertigo. In the worst case scenario, this hits you all at once and there is no escape. It's really, really hard to create a rooftop eating and drinking space where everyone is comfortable and it doesn't feel like a total ripoff.
But if anyone stands a chance to redeem and/or transcend this genre it’s Andrew Carmellini and his partners at Noho Hospitality. They have an incredible track record, having opened many reliably great restaurants across downtown Manhattan over the last eight years. They don’t mess around, and their restaurants often improve with age. So there is reason to believe that maybe — just maybe — Noho Hospitality's latest establishment, Westlight, will break the rooftop bar curse.
The menu from Andrew Carmellini and chef Anthony Ricco bounces all around the globe, with dishes like duck carnitas tacos, a lobster summer roll, fried green olives, and sweet pea and kale spring rolls. It’s an eclectic mix, to say the least. But you know what? So is the menu at The Dutch, and that place is a gem. Anne Robinson’s cocktail list has 18 speciality drinks broken down into the categories "Westlight Originals" and "Westlight Classics."
The bar is located on the 22nd floor of the shiny new William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg. Later this fall, the team will open a new wood-fired Italian restaurant called Leuca in this hotel as well. Take a look around Westlight, which opens daily at 4 p.m. And if you happen to stop by, let us know what you think.