I’ve done a few little travel recommendations before, but this one is right in my own neighborhood. Manhatta is a Danny Meyer restaurant perched 60 floors above the Financial District with sweeping views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even a little New Jersey.
There are so many reasons I recommend this restaurant but a major one is the remarkable views can be enjoyed in a cozy but chic space for the cost of a drink. Even in the busiest times (mostly weekends and happy hour) the space has plenty of seating and bar height tables for standing with courteous staff making sure everyone’s drinks are full.
It’s an especially stark comparison to the very crowded One World Trade observation deck right around the corner. Sure, World Trade has a few floors on Manhatta but to see it will run you $35 and your drink will be at least $15. (Plus you have to wait in three–count ‘em three!–lines to even get to the deck.)
The second reason Manhatta is at the top of my recommendations list for visitors and locals is the really excellent bar program. When I was there last Sunday we had a tripel from Belgium, a porter from Canada, a farmhouse ale from Maine (shout out Oxbow Brewing!), and a local pale ale. Plus, I love a wili becher glass and I appreciate that they have specific glassware to serve beer in.
I typically flip right past the cocktails to the beer menu, but every sip I’ve stolen from a friend’s glass has been unique and delicious. From celery bitters to sesame oil I can guarantee there’s going to be an ingredient you haven’t tried in a cocktail before.
And lest you be worried it’s too fancy I can assure you the environment is relaxed. At night it’s a mix of people grabbing a casual drink or looking for a fancy date night. I’ve camped out on the end of the bar during many brunches (no one was waiting for our seats!) for hours and have been treated to custom cocktails, beers not even on the menu yet, and sometimes a complimentary bar snack. I wouldn’t suggest showing up in your sweatpants but jeans, sandals, and even shorts are fine.
All this before I get to the food! They have a rotating bar menu with bar snacks and casual entrees like burgers. A little secret: you can order the dining room menu a la carte at the bar. However, the food is pretty expensive for relatively small portions and while it’s always been solid, only a few dishes have made a big impression (I miss you, french onion burger). So, splitting a few snacks over drinks is the right move to come enjoy the view.
The beer list changes a little every time visit but here’s a look at the selection on my most recent visit. Also worth noting, Manhatta is a no-tipping restaurant so prices appear a little higher.