For those of you who haven’t yet dove into Olympic coverage with the speed of Missy Franklin’s best backstroke, you’ll know that deciding where to watch the games is nearly as important as which event you’ll be viewing. Finding a good atmosphere, plenty of HD real estate, and food or drink specials to boot proves to be even more difficult. Thus, we give you two recommendations for unimpeded (and unabashed) Ryan Lochte viewing: Whiskey Park and Stone Rose Lounge.
Whiskey Park is your neighborhood sports bar all grown up, complete with plentiful seating and TVs located throughout. It’s the perfect for post-work socializing while keeping your eye on Team USA’s medal count. We fortified our cheering section with a thoroughly American pairing of perfectly-seared kobe beef sliders, a side of “freedom” fries, and an ice-cold Blue Moon. If your loyalties lie elsewhere, there are food and beer pairings from a number of other countries. If you’d rather be on a Mexican beach vacation than in a Manhattan bar, try the deftly-mixed and perfectly-seasoned tuna tartare, which comes with a refreshing Corona.
In the mood for a swanky evening on the town? We kept our Friday night primetime date classy at Stone Rose Lounge, located on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center. Sweeping skyline views, a serious big screen and a DJ spinning pump-up tunes makes for a plush viewing experience. Food is courtesy of Marc Murphy (of Chopped fame), and the menu is in-keeping with the chic atmosphere. Mini lobster rolls are plump and summery, while mushrooms empanadas served with a chive dipping sauce are delightfully crispy.
Both bars offer a special cocktail menu with ingredients inspired by different host countries. Our faves? A “Hymn to the Liberty” is sweet and tart, with Greek brandy, fig jam, lemon and a touch of honey. The “God Save the Queen” hits floral notes from its gin base, then adds a refreshing finish with cucumber slices, fresh mint leaves and a splash of celery bitters.
Not to worry if you’ve missed the incredibly zany opening ceremonies and the first official gymnast meltdown of this Olympics season: Whiskey Park and Stone Rose Lounge will be hosting viewing events and serving their special menus for the duration of the 2012 Olympic games. Cheer on your fellow Americans and order a “Star Spangled Banner.” Just do it.