Food & Drink

R2L

Nearly every skyscraper includes an observation deck, and some even charge tourists for access to the view, which is pretty crazy, considering that sexpot Star Jones isn't even on it anymore. For a tastier option in a similarly picturesque setting, hit R2L, opening Thursday

Perched 500 ft above street level in Liberty Two, R2L offers panoramic views spanning 40 miles in clear weather from each of the restaurant's distinct settings; from the Liberty Bar & Lounge, with a streamlined menu and high-end, handcrafted cocktails, to the Dining Salon, where customized flights of booze're paired with inventive takes on traditional American fare from owner/Chef Daniel Stern, who's just glad he's out of the business of getting paint buckets swung at him from balconies. Things start small with the Snacks menu, including Cocktail Reubens (house-made rye filled with corned beef and sauerkraut spiked with mustard and Gruyere), pastries stuffed w/ house-made Maine lobster mini franks, and cured/confited Rabbit Nachos w/ cheddar & scallions served with tortilla chips and a jalapeno mousse -- run a dab of it through your hair and blow-dry for a seriously hot look. Entrees include an inventive swipe at surf & turf: griddled half lobster & braised short ribs w/ roasted potatoes & leeks in lobster sauce & beef jus; the Chicken Daube's two-way of roasted breast and braised leg w/ anchovy mousse; and a veal meatloaf stew w/ sweetbreads, tongue, brisket, and trotter, thus ending the mystery of how Jeremiah spends his free time in the off-season

Boozewise, R2L's 'tenders chip some chill from the "Iceberg" block behind the back bar to bolster serious gin and rye concoctions w/ over-the-top-shelf liqueurs like Luxardo maraschino and vermouths like Carpano Antica -- a sweet offering, although not quite a Joy, because she's too gross to ever be a Star.