Hi, it’s Christina from Downtown Native! I’m excited to be a contributor and share hot spots and things to do in New York City each month. Since this is the first time I’m posting here, I wanted to share a place that’s iconic to New York: The Summer Garden & Bar at Rockefeller Center.
Rockefeller Center is a place that NYC locals tend to avoid at all costs, mainly because of the dense crowds that always accumulate there. Aside from the obligatory annual photo that we all take in front of the massive Christmas tree during the winter months, we don’t have any other real reason to visit. However, I recently found out that during the summer, the famous ice skating rink transforms into a restaurant that feels very much like a resort!
You may be wondering what that dinosaur-looking thing is in the first two photos. In lieu of the Christmas tree that adorns Rockefeller Center during the holiday season, Jeff Koons’s ‘Split-Rocker’ work of art has been standing in its place this summer. The half pony, half dinosaur flowering sculpture stands over 37 feet tall, but you really need to experience its height in person. You can read more about the piece of art here.
I try to let my dog Minnie join me on as many city adventures as I can, because I hate the thought of her sitting inside all day while I’m out having fun.
Even though I don’t think dogs are allowed at the Summer Garden & Bar, I snuck her in and let her sit in my bag. She loves being out, especially when I’m with friends, because she’s so overly friendly.
The Summer Garden & Bar is a great spot to have lunch during the workday or to relax with some drinks later on in the evening.
The music that’s playing combined with the sound of the waterfall in the background really made me feel like I was on a mini-vacation.
It was so relaxing just to sit under the umbrella at my table, sipping on my delicious Raspberry Lychee Smash.
My friend ordered the Frozen Lemonade, which was really yummy as well.
We ordered the Summer Garden Signature Guacamole, Tomato Watermelon Salad, and Summer Squash Kebabs. All were very tasty and the portions were large enough to share.
In fact, the guacamole could have fed at least four people!
The feta cheese, mint, and aged balsamic on the watermelon salad were refreshing and light. The kebab was served over a tzatziki-like yogurt sauce that was very good as well.
By the time we ate our meal, we were so stuffed and had no room for dessert…despite the delicious sounding Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Golden Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and Tartufo Banana Split (among others) that appeared on the menu. Before we left, we made sure to pull a real touristy move and take some pictures in front of the waterfall – we just couldn’t help ourselves. Sometimes I love being a tourist in my own city!
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my first guest post! Would you like to see more iconic NYC places like this one, or do you prefer to know about some of my favorite local spots?
xx, Christina, Downtown Native!
Image Credits: All original photography by Christina Danza