Rooftop drinking and dining has become an attractive option amid the pandemic: The venues are mostly outdoors and provide enough space for social distancing. The Pier 17 complex, part of the Howard Hughes Corporation’s development at the South Street Seaport, is a fine example of that. Surrounded by promenades with views across the East River to Brooklyn, its rooftop, open year-round, has a collection of cabana-like pods set on patches of faux lawn for dining and drinking throughout the day. There are 28 of them, each accommodating up to eight people, to be reserved in advance. They’re equipped with umbrellas, lounge chairs, coolers and USB ports, and you can order from your smartphone. The pods require reservations; two other areas, a north patio and south patio, are first-come, first-served. The menu for the entire rooftop consists of fruity cocktails, some of them slushy, and food like fish and chips, organic chicken sandwiches, and salmon and squash kebabs. On the pier’s ground level, one restaurant, Malibu Farm, will open for outdoor dining on Thursday. The Fulton by Jean-Georges Vongerichten is opening soon, along with David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar, moving into the Bar Wayo space. Another restaurant on the pier, Carne Mare from Andrew Carmellini, which was supposed to make its debut in April, has yet to announce an opening date.
The Rooftop at Pier 17, 89 South Street (Fulton Street), 212-732-8257, pier17ny.com.
Local greenery, like bayberry, cherry laurel, river birch, lavender, juniper and switchgrass, separates white picnic-style tables in this restaurant’s spacious garden. The owners, Jamie Webb and the chef Ken Addington, both of Eight Mile Creek in NoLIta, are using just the garden for now to serve a globally inspired menu of crispy rock shrimp, a cheeseburger, an eggplant-shiitake burger, pork cheek vindaloo, fish and chips, and spaghetti with clams. The cocktails, by Shannon Tebay, are refreshers, like the Godspeed, a frozen mixture of tequila, grapefruit, cinnamon and coconut, many of them sold to go in large format. (Opens Friday)
302 Metropolitan Avenue (Roebling Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-331-2000, strangewaysbklyn.com.
Milk teas featuring nuts, fruit, boba and coffee mixed with fruit juices, including lemon and pineapple, star at this airy new beverage shop. It’s the first American branch of Urban Tea, from Hunan, China, where the company has nearly a dozen stores. Cheese tea, a concoction of cold tea (green or black) topped with a thick, dense layer of foamlike cream cheese, might tempt. It’s a creation from Taiwan and China that has been nibbling at the edges of trendiness on the West Coast and in New York for years. Counter Culture Coffee is the coffee supplier. A food menu includes smoked chicken salad, bologna sandwiches and Japanese-style cheesecake from Keki Modern Cakes based in Chinatown. Seating is outdoors only for now; takeout and delivery are available. (Thursday)
218 Thompson Street (West Third Street), 646-226-9797.
Rosella at Rooftop Reds
A pop-up preview of Rosella, a sushi restaurant opening this fall at 137 Avenue A (Ninth Street), will happen every Saturday in August at 7:30 p.m., at Rooftop Reds, a working vineyard on a Brooklyn Navy Yard roof. Socially distanced seating will be set up, and guests will be served a 15-course tasting menu by the chefs Jeff Miller and Yoni Lang, who worked at Uchi in Dallas and Uchiko in Austin, Tex. Tickets ($150 each) are sold in pairs at eventbrite.com. Additional dates to be announced.
Rooftop Reds, 299 Sands Street (Navy Street), 305-799-5937, rooftopreds.com.