The Glamorous New Darling Brings Rooftop Chic to the Park Lane New York

Images by Michael Kleinberg

Even if, like us, you spent those post-Millennium years trawling downtown for Chloë Sevigny approved parties, and swooning in front of the stage at secret always-below-14th-Street Yeah Yeah Yeahs shows, there was still never anything else quite like a summer evening stroll along Central Park South. It would, inevitably, lead to a drink or two at some or other super posh hotel bar.

One of the those posh hotels that long called CPS home is the Park Lane New York – and after an $80 million renovation project, it should surely now prove to be the place for a park-adjacent tipple. Indeed, it now boasts the awesomely old-school Harry’s New York Bar, perfect for lingering over an expertly made dirty martini, as well as the very Parisian, Art Nouveau inspired Rose Lane, a comfy cafe by day turned sophisticated spot in the evenings for sipping a High Society or Harry’s Old Fashioned cocktail.

But perhaps sensing that after two years of on-and-off lockdowns we deserve someplace truly spectacular to spend our nights (award-winning mixology and secret subterranean locations are just not cutting it anymore), the Park Lane has also just unveiled its surely flagship epicurean venue, the dizzyingly spectacular rooftop bar, so invitingly named Darling (sweetie). Perched up on the 47th floor above what is colloquially known as Billionaire’s Row, it has striking interiors by design studio LUCID, which make fascinating aesthetic references to the famous park below.

It should be pointed out that skyward tippling above 59th Street had generally meant a trip to The Met, or having a visiting friend invite you up to the very exclusive private terrace at the Surrey Hotel at 76th and Madison. So Darling arguably represents a whole new era in uptown NYC nightlife.

Glamorous without crossing into glitzy, it boasts chic black & white patterned floors, pressed metal ceilings, plush green and orange barstools and scalloped armchairs, and classy retro-Deco touches throughout. A prodigious mural by En Viu (whose client list includes the likes of the Times Square Edition and the Rosewood Guangzhou) provides a captivating artistic focal point. There’s also a verdant, wraparound terrace.

But Darling will be just as much an epicurean destination, with a food & beverage program by longtime Gotham nightlife guru Scott Sartiano, founder of the Butter Group, whose Bond Hospitality currently lords over Zero Bond, the city’s hottest private club. So bar food is of the most elevated sort, Petrossian caviar, blue fin tuna tartare, grilled cheese made with aged French Tomme de Savoie, botan ebi ceviche, and sprawling seafood towers. An “Exquisites” selection of cocktails includes such delectables as the Wasabi & Blood Orange Margarita and the Pineapple & Yuzu Mule.

But perhaps Park Lane New York Managing Director Prince A. Sanders sums it all up best: “The views are breathtaking, the design is so unexpected, and on the guest list are the eccentric, the creative, the conservative, and shall we say, all sorts. It’s playfulness with also a little mischief.”

And a little mischief sounds like just what we need right now.

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