Even longtime New Yorkers love the sight of the city’s celebrated, ever-changing skyline. A true superstar, Manhattan’s picture-perfect panorama looks good from any angle and never gets old. But it’s at its most memorable when ogled from a table for two (or three or four) with a view. What you see out the windows of these restaurants is most definitely swoon-worthy.
New York proffers just one revolving restaurant with a 360-degree vista, and it’s such a landmark that its name is simply The View Restaurant & Lounge.
From a bird’s-eye perch 48 stories above the Great White Way, The View’s swank circular dining room presents thrilling scenes at every turn: its electric Times Square surroundings, Central Park, the Hudson River and the shores of northern New Jersey. Menu options are as plentiful as photo ops: a three-course prix fixe of seasonal American classics, Sunday brunch or deluxe buffet that includes dessert. The View rotates one complete revolution hourly. You may consider it a complete revelation. New York Marriott Marquis hotel, 1535 Broadway, New York; 212.704.8900
Since unfurling in 1934 in the new Rockefeller Center atop the skyscraper also known as 30 Rock, the Rainbow Room has become synonymous with Art Deco glamour.
Now a designated New York City landmark, the recently restored Rainbow Room finesses Manhattan’s most majestic—and altitudinous—Sunday brunch, with live musicians and deluxe dishes like lobster Benedict. Its views command 270 degrees of the Apple: uptown, downtown and east. The Rainbow Room’s weeknight cocktail lounge, Bar SixtyFive, looks up, down and west. You, meanwhile, won’t be able to look away. 30 Rockefeller Plz., New York; 212.632.5000
Down at sea level, the Rockefeller Center Rink and towering Christmas Tree, which is lit Nov. 30, frame a beloved scene of comfort and joy. Diners at The Sea Grill savor a rinkside view of this seasonal spectacle from a sleek, glass-walled dining room. The splendid kitchen crew treats ultra-fresh fish and seafood with reverence, creating not just impeccable grilled dishes but a raw bar, sushi, scampi, bouillabaisse, paella and, if you must, filet mignon. Prix fixe menus, including one for sophisticated small fry, are prize catches for frugal fish fanciers. 19 W. 49th St., New York; 212.332.7610
At the top of the Museum of Arts & Design in a building with a glazed terra-cotta and fitted-glass facade, Robert is as stylish as the scene it beholds.
The art-filled restaurant lords it over Columbus Circle, the monument-laden southwestern corner of Central Park, which is framed like a painting by West 59th Street, Broadway and Central Park West. Robert’s Portuguese chef Luisa Fernandes, a champion of Food Network’s “Chopped,” serves her captivatingly earthy dishes at lunch, dinner, happy hour and weekend brunch, often with live jazz on tap. Your senses will rejoice. 2 Columbus Cir., New York; 212.299.7730
A stirring cinematic setting beside the Brooklyn Bridge is one reason why The River Café has remained a romantic dining destination for 39 years.
Its breathtaking views (ideal for selfies) command the East River, Manhattan's and Brooklyn’s skylines, the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty … for starters. Yet The River Café’s kitchen is equally glorious. Foodies consider this riverside patch of Kings County the birthplace of modern American cuisine and the culinary cradle where influential chefs such as Larry Forgione, David Burke and Charlie Palmer were launched. The River Café works hard to maintain its legend, furnishing sumptuous prix fixe menus for brunch, lunch and dinner and an à la carte breakfast. The inconspicuous wait staff are happy to assist eager gents on bended knee with ring in hand. 1 Water St., Brooklyn, New York; 718.522.5200
It’s fitting that the restaurant founded by the NBA’s supernova occupies an equally stellar setting.
Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C. inhabits a semiprivate alcove within New York’s treasured Grand Central Terminal. Overhead is the celebrated fresco of the constellations, and below is a mesmerizing urban ballet, including a recent wedding proposal that took place on that main concourse, in viewing distance of the restaurant. It’s also fitting that the restaurant over-delivers the way Michael did. It’s one of New York’s great steak houses, serving delectable dry-aged beef, luscious local seafood, NBA-tall layer cake and a notable wine list, all which is a slam dunk for diners. Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. at E. 42nd St., New York; 212.655.2300