Lovage view

While NYC was in a winter hibernation the beginning of this year, Magnolia Restaurant and Lovage Rooftop sneakily opened in Midtown West.

Hidden away west of Times Square, out of the tourist zone, this warm and inviting restaurant waits below an elevated cocktail oasis with a view of the electric city. The lounge is situated right next to the notorious Sky Room and boasts to have a space one floor higher at 37 floors above street level.

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We started our night in the Magnolia Restaurant and were graciously greeted by the helpful staff. The modern venue is expertly designed by the team at Gene Kaufman Architect with interior touches like Edison light bulbs and lush banquettes. From Addison Hospitality Group, the same team behind Monarch Rooftop and Jeff Lam of Chinese Tuxedo fame, this caliber of aesthetic and service comes as no surprise.

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We began our night with a cocktail, Magnolia’s take on a Cosmo with a Caribbean twist. The drink is comprised of Double Cross Vodka, Cointreau, hibiscus syrup, pineapple, lime and a prosecco topper. This was a great way to end a work day and start a stellar meal.

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What we liked about the food menu is that all the ingredients were fresh and light, perfect for spring and summer months. We were told that Executive Chef Alan Wise sometimes even comes in and creates ad hoc dishes from items he’s inspired by at the farmers market!

We started our courses with the tuna ceviche dish with ponzu, sesame, chili oil and wasabi tobiki accruments. I’m usually not a fan of wasabi, but the delicate tobiko bead composition helped to not overpower the dish. The wine recommended to pair with this was Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio.

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Moving on, the asparagus dish with goat cheese mousse and egg, displayed colors that screamed spring. The ingredients were healthy and refreshing complimentary items.

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For our seafood course, we were served the scallops with spiced carrot purée, spring peas and chimichurri. This was probably our favorite savory dish of the night. The mixture of sweet notes from the spice carrot purée, to the herbal notes from the chimichurri, worked together in perfect harmony. This dish was served with the Starborough Sauvignon Blanc.

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The chicken with morels, charred ramps and ramp pesto was juicy on the inside and had a perfectly seasoned skin on the outside. The ramps that were placed on top also gave the dish a nice crispy texture and crunch.

The finale was not even on the menu, but was easily our favorite of the night. We received a deconstructed lemon tart with notes of lemon, meringue and wafer, which flavors married in complete bliss.

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But our night was not complete. We still had to check out the newest rooftop on the block for ourselves. With panoramic views in the city, 17 foot floor to ceiling windows and visibility of iconic New York City landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Hudson River, and more, this venue is going to be a must visit destination for the summer. In the spirit of the warmer months to come, we opted for the Lovage Tiki for Two, a tropical concoction of Absolut Elyx Vodka, elderflower, pear, lemon, and given a fizzy finish with ginger ale. We chose this because it was served in a golden pineapple that we proceeded to carry around, but would’ve been happy for any of the other fruit-forward drinks that made us long for summer nights to come sooner.

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Overall, it’s clear we had a pleasant night. This may have been our first visit to Magnolia and Lovage, but it won’t be our last.

– Stephanie Carino

Magnolia Restaurant and Lovage Rooftop
360 West 40th St
New York, NY, 10018