Mon-Sat, 5pm-1am; Sun, 5pm-midnight
E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
The rooftop terraces provide a view you’d expect in Midtown: office-building facades, avenues clotted with traffic, an occasional seagull eyeing your complimentary bowl of mixed nuts. The inside is better. Inspired by Madame Ning, a fictional Shanghai woman-about-town in the 30s, the bar pops with day beds to lounge out on and loopy touches like framed paintings on the ceiling. The design suggests Shanghai Triad, but there's also touches of James Bond in the vested waitresses patrolling the tables like super-villain minions, as well as Spaghetti Westerns in the crumpled napkins blowing around like tumbleweeds in the high-altitude wind. As with its predecessor, the Pen-Top Bar, the cocktails, including an elderflower gimlet and a tiramisu martini with white-chocolate liqueur, are fetching. The French tourists and downtown financiers who populate the bar might not be the kind of artistic, philosophically-inclined crowd that the Madame would've hung out with, but they're probably the only ones keeping the kitchen afloat: A shrimp cocktail costs $28.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.