Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upstairs At The Kimberly: Dining And Drinking With "Open Air Flair"!

By: Anne M. Raso

For those who love open Modern American dining with a view, Upstairs At The Kimberly is the place to be. The signature drinks are highly inventive (if costly, at $16), but once you've tried one or two, you'll feel compelled to try them all. We checked out the Oh Yoko (a soju and sake based refreshing summer drink with lemon grass, ginger and mint) and Electrolyte (a vodka-based summer drink with fresh pineapple and lemon that is said to actually bring down one's body temperature) and we ordered repeats!
Having one two, three, eight or nine of these drinks with the summer breeze blowing through you hair is a great way to cap off a summer day (but be sure to take a cab, bus or subway home)! And before you ask, we do not know if Yoko has really tried the drink in her honor or not!
Kobe Burger Sliders
Items tend to be served as "small plates" to keep up a " modern Manhattan after work bar scene" kind of feel at Upstairs, even though the food is taken very seriously. Chef David Andrews, formerly of Gotham Bar & Grill (where he specialized in pastry and worked his way up) and Xie Xie (where he worked closely with owner and Top Chef star Angelo Sosa), takes his American fare very seriously and does it in both "comfort" and "light styles" so there is something for everyone.
Crispy French Fries
We decided to mix and match plates--and share everything--so we got Truffled Mac & Cheese (made not only with fine truffle oil but with but with luscious, stringy Swiss and parmesan reggiano, $12), Spiced Duck Cigars (really a spring roll sliced vertically and filled with shredded duck, curry, carrots and pistachios with a side of pomegranate dipping sauce, $13), Kobe Burger Sliders (three slider-size Kobe beef patties on soft homemade white rolls topped with artisan cheddar, lettuce, tomato and pickles, $15), Crispy French Fries (done golden brown in canola oil and scattered with fresh parsley, $7) and Crispy Baby Artichokes (tender artichoke leaves sautĂ©ed in canola oil and topped with grated Parmesan and fresh lemon juice, $14). 
Crispy Baby Artichokes
Truffled Mac & Cheese
OKAY OKAY! We admit that we skipped the healthy fare, which includes a Summer Tomato & Goat Cheese Salad ($12), Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad (with peach vinaigrette and ricotta salata, $12) and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare (with spicy avocado and ginger olive oil, $18).
Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich
Myself and my foodie guest decided to split two desserts--the Strawberry Soufflé (a tarragon strawberry salad and whipped cream delight that is a favorite of Chef Andrews) and the Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich (salted vanilla caramel light homemade ice cream on a crunchy chocolate wafer and a blackberry salad--Chef Andrews actually says the ice cream is not churned and cranked, so it is technically called a "parfait" by pastry chefs). We would definitely go back to check the other two "sweet finishers" on the menu--Chocolate Molten Cake (with dulce de leche ice cream) and Sticky Toffee Pudding (with butterscotch date cake and pistachio ice cream). All desserts are priced at $11 and portioned on the big side for two to share--although they are not overpoweringly big.
Wine Cellar
For more info on Upstairs At The Kimberly, go to As mentioned before, it's a no-rush after work "hang" with classy people and food (most people are in business attire but there is no dress code beyond "proper attire required" and many folks have on "casual chic" duds). Many friends have said they recommend it for brunch as well. Be aware that while you have your choice of sitting indoors or outside although during the summer months, the main room does not really have closed walls--so you will be at least partially "al fresco." The "Upstairs" folks definitely deserve to have bragging rights to the "best 360 degree view in midtown Manhattan" and the "James Bond meets midtown chic decor" is actually comfortable (something that can’t be said for most trendy rooftop eateries and bars in Manhattan). Reservations are suggested by not required, but we strongly suggest them if you are going to want to eat (as opposed to just have drinks) during after work hours because it can get crowded and a line form at the entrance downstairs (you won't have to wait on it if you have a ressie!).

Kimberly Hotel Penthouse
145 East 50th Street
New York, NY 10028
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel on Urbanspoon
[Photos: Anne M. Raso]


Smartypanties said...

That caramel ice cream sandwich looks fabulous!!!!!!!!!!! I must go!!

Smartypanties said...

Wow! Who knew that existed! Thanks for letting me know! Gotta go try that ice cream sandwich!!!

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