Happy second anniversary, Haven! To celebrate, we wore cotton. Credit: Provided
As Metro’s spirits editor, T. Michelle Murphy hits a lot of bars. In this new column, in various states of sobriety, she offers her take on New York City’s finest — and foulest — alcohol-proffering establishments.
SYNOPSIS Haven Rooftop opened two years ago at the Sanctuary Hotel, and we were invited to the anniversary party. Don't worry, nobody gets closer to being NYC's Best Bar just because we get free stuff (unless everyone gets free stuff all the time, but then NYC's Best Bar would be a soup kitchen).
Neighborhood: Times Square
Ambience: (Tuesday, 7 p.m.) Really exciting to be on a rooftop during an insane thunderstorm, because you don't truly appreciate a flash flood until it's directly above your head separated only by plastic. You should try Haven out on a clear summer night — there's a beautiful view of the church next door that's probably terribly romantic when you aren't wondering if the steeple will double as a lightning rod.
Bartenders: Tasha's a pleasure. She made suggestions, asked if anyone else at the table needed anything, didn't roll her eyes when we just wanted a water and lemonade (pregnant cohort). And then she offered to send fresh french fries when she saw us trying to eat some stale ones, so triple extra bonus points.
Cocktails: Drink names are outer space-themed for no discernible reason (Cloudtini, Harvest Moon, Red Planet); the roof's high but it's not THAT high. Nothing really special going on: Patrons around us seemed to agree, sticking mostly to beer and wine if not the cocktails that came in convenient pitchers (we had a few of the slightly-too-sugary mojitos).
Food: We just snacked on some french fries and crudite, since it was almost dinnertime, but there's a full menu of posh noshes from which to choose (like, c'mon, you've gotta feel fancy ordering a $14 plate of hummus and carrot sticks).
Price: ($$$$$) On one hand, $14 per drink is pretty average; on the other hand, so are the cocktails here. Not bad, not amazing, just the kind of stuff you can get cheaper a few blocks further from Times Square. Steak au poivre is $28, in case you were wondering — but, thankfully, the truffle fries are just $8. Happy hour (see below) is also not really much of a deal.
Specials: Weekdays only: Prix fixe lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) is $29; happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) means $5 beer and $7 wine.
Drunkenness: (++) A good rule of thumb is to drink until you stop worrying about the fact that your hair got ruined by the rain, have one more, then go home.
Best bar in NYC for … feeling VIP in a sundress and sandals.
It's also a great place to duck inside if you're being pursued by a Times Square Elmo you refused to pay or avoiding that co-worker who's awkward to see outside the office. This ripped doorman-cum-GQ model is sure to dissuade anyone trying to harass a Haven Rooftop guest. Credit: Provided
To suggest a contender for NYC’s best bar, tweet T. Michelle Murphy: @TMichelleMurphy.