Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
There’s cool by association, but what about fancy by association? If any bar could fit such a description, it would be Ascent Lounge, a tony fourth-floor addition to the food-and-drink offerings at Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center. Pass down a hallway that includes revered New York dining rooms like Per Se and Masa into the expansive lounge from nightlife power couple Brian and Carrie Packin (48 Lounge at Rockefeller Center). The team gives their former Parkview Lounge space a glam overhaul with oversize velvet armchairs, crystal chandeliers and enough gilded edges to make you feel like a high roller even if you can barely afford one of the nearly-$20 cocktails at the mirror-backed bar.
ORDER THIS: There are plenty of marked-up neoclassics, like a ginger-forward old-fashioned ($18) and a Moscow mule subbing out vodka for a splash of Woodford Reserve bourbon ($17), but you’ll have more fun with playful sips like the two tableside quaffs under the Pop Rocks category ($17). Unlike the fizzing sweets of your childhood, the “rocks” are actually jumbo house-made cubes of ice cream or sorbet submerged into the cocktails: The Toasted Almond is a dessertworthy sipper that melts a block of vanilla ice cream into Disaronno and Ciroc Coconut until the cup is as rich as the room it’s served in.
GOOD FOR: High-power business meetings by day, special-occasion dates by night. Office executives are well-suited—literally—for the smattering of low-slung two-tops spread across the lounge’s polished granite floors, while dressed-up darlings should reserve the pillow-laden banquettes that hug floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Columbus Circle and the 59th Street commencement of Central Park. Even at night, the music—a for-everybody soundtrack that included Aretha Franklin, remixed Coldplay and Justin Bieber on a recent evening—never pushes far past atmospheric, allowing you to easily linger on your date’s every word.
THE CLINCHER: The food menu was created in partnership with the Blue Ribbon Restaurants group, and its influence is felt in global-tinged snacks like tater tots with truffle oil and roasted-shallot dipping sauce ($9), miso lobster rolls on fresh-baked challah ($16) and Wagyu beef sliders topped with Manchego, double-smoked bacon and—you guessed it—even more truffle in the form of an aioli ($16). Like the lounge itself, the bites are surprisingly relaxed stuff wrapped in a whole lot of ritz.
10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor
|Cross street:||between 58th and 60th Sts|
|Price:||Average cocktail: $16|
|Opening hours:||Mon 4pm–midnight; Tue–Thu 4pm–2am; Fri 4pm–3am, Sat 4pm–3am; Sun 2–11pm|
|Do you own this business?|