If the newly opened East Village Yacht Club, on First Street between First and Second Avenues, is a faithful representation of the experiential reality of the upper class, we say NO THANKS. The bar-restaurant-club is kitted out in Nantucketian WASP chic: Silver plates and tureens on shelves, mounted rudders, nautical prints, a swordfish upstairs. Down the spiral staircase lined with maritime flags, the cavernous lounge space is filled with sofas, trophies, model ships and a large television screen on which is projected some New England marina. Also, the food poisoning was really chic.
The menu, full of promising items like crab dip, clam chowder, lobster casserole and swordfish, came on a clipboard. And it was total bollocks. It took us 3 waitresses (their bubble butts distending the anchors printed on their short shorts in a particularly alluring way) to find out what was in the crab dip. And when it came, the dip tasted like a can of tuna mixed with mayonnaise and was accompanied by a few Fritos. Literal Fritos, not high-end whole-grain mildly-ironic Fritos but Fritos, straight outta the bag. My dinner companion spent the greater part of last night being violently ill over his swordfish. The busboys—most of them ardent but not particularly experienced—were forced to wear patchwork madras shorts and polo shirts, a cruel juxtaposition.
So who was there? On the upper floor, the "raw bar," one whole corner of the space, was taken up with the Daily Candy girls who, when I went over to say hi, said they were "discussing their periods." Next to us, two middle aged ladies who were trying incredibly hard to shave off a few years from their actual age by wearing clothes more appropriate for a young seafaring gamine were drinking sugary cocktails. One of them had worn a shirt with embroidered red anchors in anticipation of her visit. At the bar, three suits were loudly flirting with the waitress. The general lack of wit made up for by a surplus of volume.
Ultimately and much to our dismay, the East Village Yacht Club seems to be another one of those 1st street "restaurants" whose kitchen is more a diversionary tactic used to lure the community board into granting a liquor license than a legitimate culinary operation. It's a lesson that cost us $128 for two and two hours of our life sucked into the whirlpool of seersucker and sucky seafood.