The Mexican dishes here are a cut above the rest, and are arguably worth the trek to Red Hook on their own. But Alma's main selling point is the unimpeded view of downtown Manhattan, East River bridges and New Yorker Harbor (Lady Liberty included) from the roof deck of this off-the-beaten-path hangout.
187 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
2. 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe
Finding this no-frills grill is half the fun, and involves a somewhat perilous hop across, and underneath, a West Side Highway on-ramp. Your work is rewarded by solid pub grub, a jovial atmosphere best enjoyed with a group and tables within spitting distance of the Hudson.
West 79th Street New York, NY 10024
3. The NoMad Rooftop
Mere mortals might have better odds of winning the lotto than scoring a table on the rooftop perch of chef Daniel Humm's (Eleven Madison Park) deafeningly hyped Flatiron (OK, NOrth of MADison Square Park) newcomer. Sitting directly underneath the Empire State Building as you eat Humm's lauded food makes up for the hassle.
1170 Broadway, New York, 10001
It's tough to choose between the eclectic and slightly eccentric interior dining rooms in this well-received New American restaurant. The pastoral garden patio off the second floor of Bobo's Village townhouse should settle any seating arguments.
181 West 10th Street New York, NY 10014
5. Pure Food and Wine
Raw food is definitely not everyone's bag. But we all have those friends who, on occasion, strongarm us into trying something new. Pure's slick back garden lined with red banquettes is a welcome distraction for those unmoved by the food "cooked" at no more than 118 degrees.
54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003