New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Another great creation from Cliff Williams (he of 147 fame), together with Gary Weingarten and Michael Gatlin, Verlaine is a lazy bar with a big twist – everything is punctuated with Vietnamese influenced creations. The food menu centres around Southeast Asian tapas try the five spiced calamari or portabella mushroom dumplings (plus points to the kitchen for having a decent vegetarian selection, though meat eaters certainly won’t feel short-changed). Drinks, too, have a delightfully regional feel, and signature cocktails include the Hanoi Martini (made with vodka and lychee). There’s a good selection of whiskies on offer, or sake if you fancy keeping it traditional, and the well-chosen beer list includes brands from Japan, China and Thailand. Go for happy hour or rather, happy hours, since these last till 10pm every night of the weekß- and the drinks are definitely affordable, with lychee cocktails, Sangria and Vietnamese Bloody Marys at just five bucks a pop so unsurprisingly it can sometimes get crowded. Overall the atmosphere is very chilled and relaxed, with apricot walls and furry black banquettes providing the right trappings to make you want to linger, and a diverse mix of music (including classic rock n roll, jazz and electronica) caters for all tastes. Named after the famous 19th century French poet Paul Verlaine (who was of course slightly fond of a tipple himself) the venue ramps up its arty credentials by hosting shows by local artists, photographers and, of course, poets, with readings and exhibitions held on a monthly basis. So why not spend a few hours with the well-heeled crowd next time you’re passing?