Ascend to the top floor of the William Vale building in Williamsburg and you will be treated to a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. The view from their spacious wrap-around terrace is unparalleled in all of Brooklyn, and that’s a good thing, since the staff is generally rude and unaccommodating. Still, that view! Grab a seat outside and enjoy a small plate such as Butternut Squash Hummus or Shrimp Cocktail Dumplings. They have a burger available as well ($18) and assorted desserts if you have a sweet tooth. Reservations recommended.
Unsurprisingly, the food is even better than the drinks. Carmellini and executive chef Anthony Ricco (Spice Market) took cues from global street foods for the small-plates menu: Octopus skewers are generously meaty enough to withstand a bold seasoning of rocoto chili ($15), and crispy potato skins are rendered as little yuzu-hollandaise–sauced, caviar-crowned spuds that are a little too easy to pop straight in your mouth; you’ll wish you got more than six for $18. More filling is a dry-aged burger ($17) capped with a savory swath of mushrooms and onion jam. It’s a tad messy, but hey, nobody can judge you all the way up here.
Panoramic skyline views from the terrace and glassed-in lounge are the big draw at this hot rooftop bar in Williamsburg’s William Vale Hotel, also offering a menu of crafty nibbles conceived by chef Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch, Locanda Verde). As expected, a well-curated cocktail list comes with the territory.
Up on the 22nd floor, Westlight, the bar, affords nearly 360 views out over Queens, Brooklyn and the east coast of Manhattan—even the elevator vestibule offers an incredible vista. Swinging by last Saturday, a small line had formed outside the hotel when the bar opened at 4 p.m.; be forewarned that the outside line leads to yet another line inside. The system’s a good one, though, as it means the bar’s not slammed all at once and really everything moves pretty quickly from line to line to seat…
Are we all down with $15 cocktails now or do I just have Stockholm syndrome for food writers? Either way, for a rooftop, prices aren’t completely heinous… You can get a decent glass of whiskey for $13 and beers are around $7.