The James, 15 Thompson St., at Grand St.; 212-465-2000
The glassed-walled den in the eighteenth-floor penthouse of Soho’s new James hotel falls down in some areas. The cocktails are unjustifiably expensive (average: $18) and sloppily mixed, and the service can be indifferent. But you can’t fault the view: 360 degrees of rolling downtown topography, with sightlines stretching from the Empire State Building to the Hudson to the gradually multiplying floors of the future 1 World Trade Center. Even the women’s bathroom offers a view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.