By Nate Storey
April 24, 2015
Credit: © Dani Vernon

The Rainbow Room made its glamorous return to Manhattan last October, opening in a reimagined space after a five-year hiatus and ushering in a new era of skyward fine dining 800 feet above Rockefeller Center. The new iteration feels of-the-moment: Jimmy Fallon in, Elizabeth Taylor out. The food got a modern makeover too—New York’s dish de jour chicken and waffles!—thanks to chef Jonathan Wright, who’s done stints at Raffles Singapore and Setai Miami Beach.

Some of the cocktails nod to the classics (1915 gin & tonic, sazerac), but a section of forward-thinking drinks includes ingredients like lavender bitters and egg whites. And just in time for spring, Sixty Five, the adjacent restaurant and bar (Rainbow Room is only open for private events, Sunday brunch, and Monday dinner), is debuting its wraparound terrace. Because that jaw-dropping view is even better al fresco. Here's what to order:


Credit: © Dani Vernon

© Dani Vernon

Shigoku oysters, cucumber, wasabi cream, and passion fruit jelly.
Pairing: Dewatsuru Junmai Nigori Sake.

Parmesan Pizza:

Credit: © Dani Vernon

© Dani Vernon

Crisp parmesan pizza, olive oil caviar, tomatoes, and basil.
Pairing: Vesper 65.

Tuna Tacos:

Credit: © Dani Vernon

© Dani Vernon

Spicy tuna tacos, smoked ancho mayo, and fried garlic.
Pairing: Domaine Ostertag Sylvaner, Vielles Vignes, Alsace 2012.

Chicken and Waffles:

Credit: © Dani Vernon

© Dani Vernon

Fried chicken, whipped smoked onion butter, smoked bacon waffles, and chipotle mustard maple syrup.
Pairing: Manhattan.


Credit: © Dani Vernon

© Dani Vernon

Liquid mango ravioli with coconut cream and Thai basil.
Pairing: Sergio Grimaldo Moscato d’Asti.

Nate Storey covers food, nightlife, and hotels for Travel + Leisure.