Words by Mollee Harper | Photography by Kristen Penoyer
“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.” - Ayn Rand
The last days of summer warmth were ticking away as we explored the extraordinary Westlight bar and restaurant atop Brooklyn’s newest full-service hotel, The William Vale.
In the heart of Williamsburg, one of the area’s most vivacious and artsy neighborhoods - and just minutes from “The City” - The William Vale nestles into 15,000 square feet of meticulously landscaped lawns, sprawling plazas, gardens, and community gathering places.
The William Vale and Westlight reside in the top half of the stunning new 21-story, 250-foot tower of contemporary-styled metal and glass designed by Aldo Liberis. Intentionally created as a multi-use space, the four-star hotel shares this prime Brooklyn real estate with retail and commercial businesses that add to the character and attraction for visitors and locals alike.
The luxury hotel features 183 rooms including 25 suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies to give guests plenty of access to the spectacular views. Decadent in style with a strong artistic theme, the property showcases Brooklyn artists and their creations, inside and out.
To the Top and Westlight
The trendy Westlight restaurant and bar is found on the 22nd-floor and rooftop of the William Vale where the panoramic views of New York City and the boroughs can be enjoyed with craft spirits and a thoughtful menu of small plates, perfect for sharing.
Chef Andrew Carmellini features his award-winning culinary hand at the hotel’s three restaurants, each with their own distinct food concept and ambience. Chef Carmellini’s menu for the Westlight is inspired by global street foods with a sophisticated flare, complemented by artisan cocktails and rare beers and wines.
The Westlight features a modern bar with ample table and bartop seating for 80, encased in glass walls to optimize the views. Continued on the spacious outdoor terraces, another 100 guests can sit and sip comfortably at sleek, marble-topped tables, relaxed hightops, and golden velvet lounging sofas.
The Westlight’s contemporary design extends from black-and-white flooring to a modern palate of blues and yellow, the style equal parts dominant industrial and sophisticated comfort.
This already very popular new spot includes an additional space on the roof above with comfortable seating, garden, faux lawn and the hotel’s inviting 60-foot pool.
The Culinary Artisans, Eats and Libations
An American of Italian descent, Chef Andrew Carmellini has an extensive background as an American travel authority and restaurateur. Born in Seven Hills, Ohio, Carmellini attended the Culinary Institute of America and has served as a chef in the U.S., Italy, England and France. Along the way, Chef Carmellini has worked for San Domenico (in both NYC and Emillia-Romagna), Lespinasse, Le Cirque, and Café Boulud, where he won two James Beard Foundation Awards and a three-star review from the New York Times. Carmellini opened A Voce in 2006 in Madison Square Park where he earned a Michelin Star. He’s also served as chef and partner at Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Lafayette, and Bar Primi, which was added to Michelin’s Guide list of Bib Gourmands in 2014.
Chef Carmellini’s inventive menu for the Westlight is true to his inspiration in global street fare and European techniques. The Bites menu features spicy coconut cashews, sweet pea and kale spring rolls served with a minty yogurt sauce, charred octopus skewers, delicate beef tartare and goat cheese puffs, decadent duck tacos, baby back ribs, savory burgers, and more.
There are several sweet bites offered in strawberry sorbet, nutty buds, and none the least is the delicious peanut butter bar and salted caramel ice cream.
Voted the Best New Mixologist in 2016, Anne Robinson is in charge of the libations for the Westlight. Robinson is a true artisan with a whimsical al-fresco style, who develops custom cocktails to complement Carmellini’s inventive light menu and the open, bright and playful environment of the rooftop bar.
She features a wide range of cocktails and craft beers to satisfy eclectic palates through two menus - Westlight Originals and Westlight Classics - including a Viking Shandy made with NY distilling company ‘Perry Tot’ gin, a Whiskey Smash, Brooklyn Lager, and even Miller Lite.
While the visit to William Vale and its remarkable Westlight rooftop bar was brief it was memorable nonetheless, and a new must-do for New York travelers. While many may not know yet about the eclectic community of Williamsburg Brooklyn, just take a trip to the new Westlight rooftop bar and take a look around; the arts, entertainment and commerce are abuzz all around this trendy new NY eatery with satisfying cuisine and culture, Brooklyn-style, and 360 degrees of unforgettable views.
111 N. 12th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249