44 W. 63rd St., 12th fl.
Upper West Side / Lincoln Center vicinity
More than just another upscale perch for city views, Empire Rooftop Lounge is an excellent destination if you’re looking to shed some after-work stress in an atmosphere of casual elegance or seeking to party-it-up in the deeper hours of the evening. It also has a tasteful menu of food options with items that are prepared in a fashion that is a decided cut above your average lounge food.
The bar area is pristine, well run and the service is courteous all around. The mixologists are top-notch and the drinks pack punch. True you pay for them, but the prices
do not exceed what you would pay at one of the hot Meat Packing destinations and they are served in nice glassware and the quality is supreme. It will only take a couple of them to help you leave the day behind and get your evening started.
The rooftop is spectacular. There is seating. But, good look getting a table as it does get crowded fast.
Don’t expect to have long, heart to heart chats here. The place gets pumping by 6pm and the music varies from old-school disco, house, hip-hop and pop favorites. There’s a dance area, but it’s also fine to turn the 6″ between you and your coffee table into a dance area. It’s the kind of place where containing the urge to dance will prove impossible.
The interior lounge is cozy and elegant. Sofas and lounge chairs abound. Table service is outstanding and the food is remarkably good for a lounge. Cost of average menu item is between $12-$20. For lounge food, portions are more than reasonable.
I highly recommend the kobe sliders. The thick patties of silky kobe beef are just the thing to coat the stomach before a powerful cocktail or two. The hand cut fries are also very good. For a vegetarian approach, try the portobello mushroom panino on focaccia.
All in all a great place to enjoy the views, celebrate a 30th birthday or bring your out of town visitors…they will envy you and your city even more after this.