Forget staying grounded; what’s happening in food and drinks is up on the roof. The views are stunning and Instagramable, the dining and drinking is divine and, at this time of year, the weather is perfect for lovely days and sultry evenings under bright blue skies that fade to dark blue-black dappled with city lights.
Atop the beautifully restored Pontchartrain Hotel is Hot Tin, a rooftop bar with a name that alludes to playwright Tennessee Williams, who once resided at the property. The stunning 270-degree view of downtown New Orleans and the Mississippi River makes a great backdrop for cocktailing. The interior design has notable (and naughty) flourishes to discover while sipping a couple of fingers of bourbon, a bit of bubbly or a frivolous and fantastic “Pineapple Upside-Down Daiq.”
The Troubadour Hotel’s 17th floor is home to Monkey Board, a rooftop hangout with modern, street-graphics style. The full renovation of the historic Rault Building is dramatic, as are the views. There’s a full bar and food truck-style eats. Order a gin-and-lime “Alpine Slush” to slurp, and carb-load with a “Big Ass Pretzel” (beer cheese fondue for dunking) and the crunchy fried chicken sandwich with tart house pickles and mayo. At brunch, add a slow-cooked egg to the “Mojo Pork,” black beans and rice, then seal the deal with a fat slice of rainbow sprinkles-covered confetti cake.
A dipping pool, rooftop garden, 10-seat full bar and deck, all with a pretty view best describes Alto at the Ace Hotel. Recently appointed chef Nathan Adams cycles dishes on his menu, depending on the season. As summer approaches the food offerings trend lighter, and include grilled shrimp with a green garlic vinaigrette, avocado, cucumber and radish. Obvious poolside bites, such as burgers, hot dogs and wings, sit alongside Gulf fish tacos and a bright, herbaceous “Lemongrass Pie” with graham cracker crust and spiced whipped cream.
The Catahoula Hotel has a super-cool rooftop terrace, where chilling out to live music, catching a movie (yes, they screen films up there!), sipping smart cocktails or wines and eating contemporary Peruvian-inspired snacks is the thing. Causas (chilled whipped potatoes stacked with shiitake mushrooms) and salchipapas (fries with wild boar sausage) are listed, along with chilled salads, hefty sandwiches and raw seafood. Also on site are a Peruvian café, a coffee shop serving New Zealand’s Acme coffee and a hip cocktail space called the Pisco Bar, where the pisco sours are frothy, tart and divine.