Monarch Rooftop Lounge (NYC)

View of the outdoor lounge and bar at sunset
View of the outdoor lounge at sunset

Monarch Rooftop Lounge is arguably the rooftop with the up-close-and-personal feel to the Empire State Building. When we arrived there by sunset and see the light transitions from golden hour to the silver-white moonlight, we see the lovely details that makes the Empire State Building one of the most beloved landmarks in New York City.

Getting to the Monarch is an interesting experience. There were at least two bouncers with lists containing the day’s guests with reservations to check your name and communicate upstairs if there are any seats available for those who are coming in without one. Once up on the 18th floor, you’ll meet with the hostess to double check if you do have a reservation and seat you accordingly. I suppose the whole purpose of running a tight ship is to control the crowds coming in since it’s the week before Labor Day.

The lounge is tastefully done and the crowd is certainly attractive. The outdoor banquettes were comfortable to sit on for a long time.

Our first round of drinks - Lady Lychee and Kool as a Cucumber
Painkiller. Dark & Stormy and Red in Bed

The cocktails here were good. Most are fruit-forward but maange to have the sweetness controlled. For example, the Lady Lychee is an interesting mix of New Amsterdam Vodka, ginger infused brown sugar syrup, muddled limes and mint topped with ginger beer. The ginger and brown sugar lightly sweetened the lychee and the acidity of the limes adds some freshness. The Dark and Stormy was quite gingery without being too spicy. The Red in Bed was a good strawberry variation of the mojito.

Fresh burrata with balsamic vinegar
Green pea hummus, basil, mint & parsley topped with toasted pignoli served with vegetable chips

Some of the small plates we enjoyed were the incredibly delectable creamy fresh burrata with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and the croutons. The green pea hummus was a flavorful dip that’s has a bit of cumin and the vegetable chips was a good idea.

Pacific Yellowfin Ahi tuna tartare, bean spouts, toasted macadamia nuts, green onions, soy sauce & sesame oil
Barbecue glazed chicken nuggets

The yellowfish ahi tuna tartare with bean sprouts, toasted macadamia nuts and soy sauce was a sweet, slightly savory mixture that was delightful. The barbecue glazed chicken nuggets was a good bar style snack but we don’t really care for the dip since it tastes very closely to the glaze.

Lobster roll sliders

The lobster roll sliders look deceitfully disappointing but it’s actually very good sliders. The soft, squishy potato buns meld wonderfully with the lobster salad that doesn’t have much mayonnaise (and I mean this in a very good way) and it’s seasoned just right.

To view more photos of this event, please CLICK HERE for the set of view the gallery below:

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Monarch Rooftop Lounge

71 W 35th Street (between 6th & 5th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
Phone: +1 (212) 630-9993


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.