Salon de Ning
At Salon de Ning, the rooftop bar and lounge at the Peninsula Hotel, a Heineken costs $17. It is the most astonishing item on a menu that is clearly designed to keep out the riffraff with a minimum spend well above the comfort level of most New Yorkers. The clientele is what you would expect: during the day, Upper East Side ladies stopping by post-Bergdorf Goodman; at dusk, local financiers having a drink after work; and, occasionally, a well-dressed young couple. If money is no object, or if you can wilfully block out the right hand side of the menu, there is a great deal to recommend Salon de Ning. It is tastefully decorated and manages to retain an ambiance that is quite different to the many generic hotel rooftops in midtown. And it has excellent views along Fifth Avenue in both directions especially late in the day, when the apartment buildings lining Central Park glow in the afternoon sun.