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Spyglass Rooftop Bar: A Hidden NYC Gem

Upon entering Spyglass, the new David Burke Group rooftop bar atop the Archer Hotel, the spectacular view of the Empire State Building takes your breath away.  The open concept of the bar and deck immediately show off one of New York’s famous landmarks from a most unique vantage point.  Standing on a rooftop deck and sipping a “Mez-Jito”, Spyglass’s new take on a mojito using mezcal instead of rum, is an incredible New York experience that tourists and natives alike should seek out.

Spyglass is based on classic New York glitz and glamour with a modern twist.  Indeed, the bar certainly has influences from the 1940s and 1950s era in New York City such as the chandeliers and the faux tin ceiling.  The Burke Group has updated these ideas to fit the 21st century and included modern architectural trends like floor to ceiling glass doors that showcase the incredible view.  With the warm summer weather, the doors were wide open, allowing for an open flow between the bar and deck space.

The grand opening featured two of Spyglass’s new specialty cocktails – the “Mez-Jito” and the Raspberry Capirinha.  Both were well crafted, unique, and tasty.  The mezcal in the “Mez-Jito” offered a nice smoky flavor to offset the sweetness of the cocktail, while the crushed raspberry in the Capirinha added a beautiful color and fresh flavor.  Both were perfect summer cocktails to be enjoyed outside on the deck.

Spyglass has designed food options to be shared, with smaller snacks and larger “share” plates.  While the majority of the food was delicious, some dishes proved more interesting than others.  The “Octo Tacos,” small grilled octopus tacos with pico de gallo, avocado pureé, and chipotle aioli, were incredible.  An unconventional take on a fish taco, the tender octopus worked well with the spicy aioli and was balanced by the rich fattiness of the avocado – this dish proved to be the highlight. The Smoked Salmon Flatbread was also delicious with a nice mix of flavors, especially the horseradish, which tied together the salmon and the capers.  However, the Soba Noodle Nori Roll, a vegetarian take on a sushi roll, left me craving more creativity in flavor and Fabrik’s Club Burger, a classic slider, felt a bit uninspired.  Considering the burger share plate is $18 on the menu, a guest should stray away from these options and order one of the more unique items like the tacos or the Candied Bacon.

Overall, the bar is a bit pricey, with both cocktails and food options averaging around $15-$18, which is expensive even for New York standards.  However, the prices are high for good reason.  First of all, the space is intimate and the high prices ensure the bar does not get over crowded with people lingering for hours.  Second, a guest is paying for a cocktail with a view, a getaway in New York that offers first-rate views of an iconic New York landmark. Spyglass is a hidden gem where one feels like a member of a private club with a private viewing of New York City.

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