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New Heights: Ascent Lounge



By Deborah L. Martin

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 12.23.27 PMAfter an arduous day of shopping in the world’s most luxurious stores along Fifth Avenue, Central Park South and Columbus Circle, a hidden jewel awaits you on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center.

Ascent Lounge is the perfect spot for an after-work or pre-theater cocktail, or a late-night nosh. It is the latest endeavor by City Nights Hospitality — a cutting-edge company created by impresarios Brian and Carrie Packin and Dave and Lori Nader, the masterminds behind the award-winning 48 Lounge in Rockefeller Center. The lounge — an elegant entry into the Restaurant and Bar Collection in the Shops at Columbus Circle — joins a prestigious list of Michelin-starred restaurants such as Per Se, Porter House, MASA and Landmarc.

Designed by Jeffrey Beers of the eponymous design firm Jeffrey Beers International, the elegant space redefines the cocktail lounge. The renowned designer used his trademark elegant wit, innovation and sophistication to create an open plan that accommodates up to 600 guests, while retaining a romantic and intimate atmosphere with small seating areas that can be moved to accommodate larger parties. The ultra-chic lounge’s neutral palette is offset by a rich, jewel-like tone of plum and raspberry that pops against metal accents. Plush, diamond-stitched banquettes are designed for intimacy and strategically placed to take in the views of Central Park, Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center. Mirrored  panels, crystal chandeliers and a mirrored bar with floating shelves reflect city lights.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 12.23.36 PMSays Beers, “The design is modern, chic and sexy, and we gave the space a sense of mystery and drama with a large-scale screen in the entryway. It emphasizes elegance and exclusivity, while stirring a sense of wonder for onlookers.”

Ascent’s menu has a four-category cocktail list that includes seasonal, signature, neo-classical and wanderlust cocktails. Indulge in the Ascent, a heady mix of Hendrick’s Gin, Canton Ginger Liqueur and fresh lemon juice, topped off with Veuve Clicquot champagne, or the Fred & Ginger, a modern take on the Old Fashioned, created with Hudson Baby Bourbon, Amaro Averna Liqueur, bitters, fresh muddled ginger and a crystalized ginger garnish. The sexy Desire is made with Stolichnaya Elit, Crème de Violette, St. Germaine and white cranberry juice, and garnished with an edible flower encased in an ice sphere. In addition to a creative cocktail menu, there is an impressive list of craft beer, reserve wines, champagnes and bottle service, including the finest scotch, bourbon, tequila and cognac.

The full menu of shared plates features decadent treats such as truffle mac & cheese, Wagyu beef sliders with applewood smoked bacon and truffled aioli, New Zealand lamb lollipops and miso lobster rolls dressed in miso butter. Or go tropical with fish tacos made with grilled mahi mahi, or decadent lobster tail skewers.

The menu also includes brick-oven pizzas and paninis. For dessert, liven things up with Piña Pop Rocks, a piña colada ice cube doused with Malibu coconut liqueur, pineapple juice and coconut almond milk.

Besides offering amazing views of Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, Central Park and Midtown, Ascent is a prime central location for events. The venue offers a full range of packages for an intimate cocktail gathering to a large party, and the mixologists and service staff provide a complete experience for the most sophisticated clientele.

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