With outdoor seating in Manhattan at a premium, the massive roof deck of 230 Fifth makes for an instant hit. Decorated with palm trees and petunias, it gives space-cramped New Yorkers ample room to bask in the warm breeze while pretending to be unimpressed by the improbably close skyline. In fact, the view makes it easy to overlook the questionable music—think Bryan Adams and Tiffany. Chairs and tables dot the roof, where seated patrons dangle stilettos from manicured toes. Numerous waiters swoop through the crowd toward each table, refilling drinks surprisingly quickly. While the squishy rubber floor covering functions to evenly disperse the crowd’s weight, it also cushions the fall of anyone imbibing too many vodka tonics ($12) and beer ($9). Those craving creamsicles should opt for the luscious Golden Dream ($15), made with Cointreau, Galliano, orange juice, and cream. True, 230 Fifth offers more than rooftop bliss—it includes the downstairs Penthouse, where the purple and aqua decor may confuse patrons into thinking they entered a 1980s movie theater. All the more reason to stick with the roof. After all, it’s the closest you will get to the outside of the Empire State Building without scaling it yourself.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 6, 2006