Well, if you’ve managed to hide from Williamsburg thus far, there is no way you are going to miss Andrew Carmellini’s new Westlight rooftop at The William Vale Hotel which just opened. The penthouse style rooftop which is 22 floors high, is wide open with almost 360 degree views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Cue in U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” upon arrival. While you do have to wait in line to get up to the roof, (is this the new Meatpacking?), do yourself a favor and make a reservation beforehand. Then you don’t have to feel like a dud waiting in line. Little tips go a long way! The rooftop is about 5,000 square feet with plush seating outside that is actually comfortable, and there are cute, yellow binoculars to look out onto the panorama of the city.
Make sure you are dressed to the nines here because everyone is good looking. The night we went there happened to be more groups of men than ladies, so that’s always a plus. The inside room has the same circular light balls as AC’s other restaurant The Dutch. The floors are black and white and the walls which are khaki and black offer contradicting patterns which actually look awesome. If you ever need a pick-me-up or reason to fall in love with New York again, this room is for you. The best part, besides the gorgeous views and plush dining room, is that the food is really, really good! While looking at the menu which is only listed as “Bites,” you might fear the appetizer only world, but these dishes are upscale with all different kinds of spices and flavors. This in fact could be my new favorite menu from AC! The only thing that is off-putting which can be expected by a new restaurant or bar is that they are slow. We waited 30 minutes for our first round of drinks. If I was that intense or super harsh, I would have made a bigger deal about it, but you know what, the beauty this place emits makes everything feel calm and satisfying, so just relax and enjoy the show. It will be fixed in no time.
Shrimp Cocktail Dumplings
Now onto the “bites.” Start with the Heirloom Tomato Crostini which is one piece of toast cut in half. I don’t know what that jam was on there, but let’s just say jam needs to be added to ALL burrata dishes from now on. Great combo. The Butternut Squash Hummus with Grilled Naan was obviously a hit because ladies love their hummus. The naan was more like pita triangles upon first glance. It tasted as if it was cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven which is A+. The Shrimp Cocktail Dumplings which come with six is one of my favorite bites here. It’s light, a little sweet, and has that seafood flavor. They also have an eggplant dumpling for vegetarians out there which I bet is equally as awesome. Skip the Octopus Skewers. Too chewy and saucy. Dive into those Baby Back Ribs! They almost tasted like the lamb ribs at Estela as the meat fell off the bone literally with one gentle stab of my fork. Tender and tasty as can be.
The menu starts light and ends heavy which is good for all purposes if you just want drinks to go with your view or if you actually want a filling dinner. Really glad to see this is how it works because who wants actual bar food these days? End your meal with the burger which is delivered with a knife sticking straight into it with cheese and onion jam.
The William Vale and Westlight are a fabulous addition to Brooklyn and is the next tourist and local destination. It has all the feelings New York emits: excitement, fear (of falling through that glass), beauty, love, and hard work.