Nestled on the corner of 8 Avenue and 5 Street in the up-and-coming, trendy East Village, sits Yardarm, an intimate cocktail lounge. Inspired by ancient gods and sailor etiquette, this place is pushing the boundaries when it comes to mixed drinks.
From the outside of the building, it’s hard to determine what the place is. There is a small flag with their lightning bolt logo, and bottles of alcohol that fill the window space. Once entering, it’s like you’re transformed into another place: dark, industrial, and speakeasy-like. We were greeted immediately by a friendly and professional maitre’d who sat us down close to the bar, a comfy and perfect seat for people watching. We were provided with the chef’s complimentary truffle popcorn while we began to peruse the extensive menu. It became quite challenging to decide on a cocktail, as each one had a unique blend of ingredients and a story to tell. In the end, we ordered the Sun’s Over the Yardarm, a blend of rum, Saskatoon berries, lime, and balsamic, and the Coffey and Cigarettes, a smokey, spirit-forward cocktail accompanied by a chocolate treat. Both drinks were well balanced, but not your typical cocktail: impressive, sophisticated, and indicative of an experienced mixologist.
Although we didn’t sample any food, several items were appealing to us: the rotating charcuterie, mushroom tartare, and oysters. That will be for our next visit! The food menu had both vegetarian and carnivorous options, seemingly more of appetizers and sharing plates, as well as a small selection of desserts. Visiting on a Saturday night, we were lucky enough to experience the live piano music that began at 9pm.
Yardarm has only been opened since May but is likely to leave a lasting impression!