Trendy Bites: Yerba Buena is Fiesta Ready

Living in a city like New York can be a non-stop buzz of excitement and expectations and these emotions heighten when you are tasked with finding the proper venue for a particular occasion.

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This time it was a birthday celebration and the consensus was to settle on an unassuming spot with loads of flair and an ambitious drink menu. We found all that and more at Yerba Buena; a charming Latin American gem nestled in the groves of the East Village.

It was no surprise that it was bustling with activity especially since Tuesdays is designated as one of the best days of the week to visit. Due to a 45 minute wait, we decided to make effective use of the bar area. We ended up forfeiting the idea of getting a table, and Mike the bartender was the reason why. He was as busy as it gets when you are stationed in a spot that demands round the clock devotion, but he was still able to accommodate our needs in ways that left us blissfully satisfied. After scanning the vibrant drink menu, it was clear that we would have to be quite adventurous with our choices. When it comes to cocktails, that’s never a tall order. The highlights included the Poquito Picante, a stylized veggie confection, Guavarita, a refreshing offering brimming with guava puree and fresh lemon juice, and Hemingway, which proved to be the favorite of the night, maybe because of the specialized rum and maraschino liqueur swimming with fresh lime juice and grapefruit juice. It proved to be a winning combination.

Hanging with the charming host, Angel

Bday 6

As we dutifully catered to our drinks, we realized that it was time to partake of some much-needed entrees. We already knew we would be happily engaged with the menu since food inspired by the Latin American culture almost never fails to deliver. I took my time through the haze of my alcoholic indulgence (I wasn’t drunk – just happily floating), and decided to take a chance on the Tallarin Saltado, a brilliant collage of Oxtail, noodles, scallions, piquillo peppers, and a poached egg. Sounds good? It was better than good – it was exquisite. The presentation was immaculate and the restaurant’s host, Angel, who helped elevate our experience by being warmly attentive, took the time to show me how to expertly dig into my dish. I also had the pleasure of tasting the Chicharron De Calamar, and I literally had to restrain myself from vacuuming my friend’s platter. If you are a fan of calamari, then you will understand why I was so undisciplined. Picture this – blue corn meal crusted calamari, rolling around with sweet plantains, doused in succulent tamarind vinaigrette. Yeah! It was heavenly.

At the end of the night, we had irreversibly bonded with Mike the bartender, who offered us free shots as well as the weekend brunch itinerary that includes, free drinks for an hour if you have $50 to spare.

Rarely do I venture out and have a good time devoid of any flakes of annoyance. Yerba Buena is definitely where you go when you want to have a effortlessly chill without the hassle of indifferent servers, unreasonable prices and dull food. The décor is simple and pristine, and they make very good use of the limited space available. It’s a popular hangout for birthdays, which was proven by the fact that all the tables including ours had the sparklers and birthday song moment.

We can’t wait to go back and you shouldn’t wait to check it out!

Yerba Buena

23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

212-529-2919

www.yerbabuenanyc.com