A wonderful respite in the midst of Midtown Manhattan is the Rooftop at Aretsky's Patroon. To get there, you'll make your way upstairs past framed snippets of discussions of liquor, from "The Zodiac of Wines," which determines that cider and sparkling burgundy are similar to Libras; "Explanation of Wine Labeling;" and "Vintage Charts of Imported Wines," which includes the calorie count and the American equivalents of foreign standards. These framed treasures have adorned the walls of the hallway since at least 1995, when Patroon purchased the building that previously was home to the old Christ Cella. Owner Ken Aretsky decided he couldn't get rid of these, as they were a piece of history. Once you pry your eyes off them -- don't forget to pay attention to the stairs -- you'll enter the rooftop. A large highly polished wooden bar with a green base sits directly to your right, where it's adorned with flat-screen televisions and covered with a white and green awning. Multiple tables of varying sizes and heights are strategically placed throughout the patio, some with cream-colored umbrellas, some with green ones and still others without umbrellas entirely. Various sizes of wooden chairs decorate each table while Japanese lanterns provide light as well as a sense of fun and frolic. Lush foliage inside large green planters decorates the patio; it reaches from brick wall to brick wall, hangs over the ledge to 46th Street and is also strategically placed throughout the rooftop.
Open Monday through Friday, the Rooftop at Aretsky's Patroon provides a more casual dining/drinking option that includes a menu of: Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($18); Artisanal Cheese Plate (with fresh and dried fruit, toast points, three, $16/five, $28), Guacamole & Blue Corn Chips ($17); Basket of "Pigs in a Blanket" ($20); Assorted Oysters & Little Neck Calms (Asian pear mignonette and fresh cocktail sauce, MP); Hand Cut French Fries ($10); Vidalia Onion Rings ($10); Angus Prime Beef Sliders (three mini burgers, cheddar cheese, special sauce, pickles, house-made chips, $19); Maine Lobster Roll (toasted bun, $32); Grilled Cheddar Cheese & Bacon Sandwich (sourdough bread, $15); Grilled Chicken Quesadilla (smoked corn, black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh chilies, pico de gallo, $18). The restaurant also has a top-of-the-line cigar menu highlighting Monte Cristo Rubusto and Ashton Double Magnums (smoking is allowed). Open spring until mid-October -- the rooftop space is heated in anticipation of chilly October evenings -- the space provides the perfect escape from bustling Midtown. It's great for a drink or a light bite.