Even if they're one of the good ones, rooftop destination bars—usually the ones attached to hotels—can be sceney nightmares with overpriced drinks and an American Psycho crowd most of us would rather avoid. It's too soon to tell what kind of clientele Social Drink & Food, the new outdoor drinking spot attached to the YOTEL hotel in Hell's Kitchen will attract (it opens tonight), but at least the prices are reasonable. Paying $7 for a glass of wine or pint of beer wouldn't seem out of place at some of the city's nicer watering holes, and $12 for a cocktail is astonishingly reasonable on a roof these days.
The views from the fourth floor space won't be as sweeping and dramatic as other aeries, but it's a quieter retreat from the jostle of 10th Avenue. Fitting for today's rainbow-obsessed landscape, there's crocheted yarn art by London Kaye, who did some Olek-style work on part of the space, and other furnishings are similarly vibrant to match.
A Cobb Salad ($13) with grilled romaine, sliced Steak Frites ($19) with chimichurri and DIY Chicken Shashlik ($14) chicken skewers and pita sound like fine enough drinking accompaniments. The Hula Hula pizza ($12) is the most interesting of the bunch, with a red sauce base topped with mozzarella, ham, pineapple and fresh jalapeno slices. The standout cocktail is most certainly the Tropical Triple ($23), a mix of rum, pine and coconut syrups, and a "house tiki tincture," shaken up and served inside a pineapple.
London-based Rooftop Cinema Club is also doing a series of outdoor films in the space this summer. It looks like the May selections are already sold out, but the program runs through September with $30 tickets that include the screening, personal wireless headphones and a food and drink pairing that's matched to the film.
570 Tenth Avenue on the 4th floor of YOTEL, 646-449-7790; socialdrinkandfood.com