a great place to relax, enjoy cocktails and take in a stunning view
There are so many rooftop bars to choose from in Manhattan that it is overwhelming to select which spot to go to. As someone who has lived in the city for ten years, I definitely know what I do not want: loud music preventing me from having a basic conversation, crowds, lines to order a cocktail, overpriced drinks, etc. Enter Monarch Lounge, the solution to all of my problems.
My mom was in town and I wanted to treat her to afternoon cocktails with a beautiful view. I found Monarch Lounge online, checked out their website and was intrigued. After spending the morning at One World Trade, then walking around the city we were ready to give our feet a break. Located on the 18th floor penthouse of the Marriott Courtyard Herald Square, Monarch offers great music, delicious food, table service that won’t blow your paycheck, and the friendliest door for miles. We took the elevator to the top floor and stepped inside.
The décor was a beautiful balance of vintage meets modern. The interior is lined with old bricks, white wood panels on the walls, custom Terrazzo tiles, and raw iron columns. We decided to explore the area and find a place to relax. I knew the views of the Empire State building were stunning so we went outside to the patio and took in the panoramic scenery. The outdoor space had a beautifully finished wood floor and comfy couches along the ledge bowing down to the massive Empire State Building a mere avenue away.
It was a chilly afternoon so we decided to sit indoors to enjoy the view. We sunk into a deep sofa, ordered cocktails & appetizers and relaxed. I ordered Pimm’s Cope, a cocktail with Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Pimm’s, fresh raspberries, thyme-Infused breakfast tea, fresh lime and Angostura bitters. It was a fruity, refreshing drink that I was happy to sip on as we chatted away. My mom ordered Retro Metro, a cocktail with Double Cross Vodka, Figenza Fig Vodka, hibiscus syrup, white cranberry & fresh lemon juice and garnished with an edible hibiscus flower. She had never had a cocktail with an edible flower and it made the experience extremely memorable.
For appetizers, we ordered Avocado Toast; mashed avocado, toasted walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola with fresh mint and tangerine. It’s pretty hard to mess up avocado toast and thought this was a safe choice to start. We found it to be light and delicious. We also ordered the Charcuterie Plate; calabrese & genoa salami’s, American prosciutto, served with assorted relishes & lavash crackers. It was a fun dish to snack on and paired well with the wine we ordered after our cocktails were finished.
The manager came over and asked us how our experience was. I thought this was a routine check-in and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was one of the coolest people I’ve met in a while. After chatting about his experience traveling the world, we exchanged contact info and he said he would give me any advice I needed on my world trip. It was an awesome exchange!
After seeing the appetizers we ordered, he insisted that we try the Smoked Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates with smoked bacon, stilton crumbles, balsamic reduction and micro salad. It was everything he said it would be plus some. The bacon was addicting and you could easily pop them in your mouth like popcorn. They are by far the best item on the menu (both the manager and I agreed!).
After 2 hours of indulging at Monarch Lounge, we were off to our next adventure for the night; my moms first drag show. I had to show her around the real New York somehow! We left Monarch, energized and ready to take on the night. On another note, if you’re coming to New York for the Thanksgiving Day parade, Monarch has a perfect view of it. Make sure to get tickets in advance to secure your spot!
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