Perched upon the fifth floor of the Channel apartment building, La Vie is exactly the kind of restaurant you’d expect to find at The Wharf. Its highly curated aesthetic is made for snapping Instagrams and around every corner is another beautiful surprise, like the spectacular views from the terrace bar or small windows that look directly into the pool of the apartment building (supposedly, bartenders and patrons alike have spied some naked swimmers taking a dip in the middle of the night). Take the elevator up and you’re transported to a different world.
The cocktails are no different. Sporting three different bars (in the dining room, the lounge and the terrace), La Vie takes drinking seriously. Cocktails run from $10 to $14 and no matter which one you pick you’ll be treated to an impeccably made drink that looks just as good as it tastes. Coastal flavors shine bright here, which means you’ll get a heavy dose of fresh fruits, vegetables and a few headier spices like saffron. If you’re looking to get rowdy with a group, the large format cocktails like the Rock & Roses with its floral bouquet and the Crazy Pineapple with it’s bright citrus notes are solid options, but its single serving cocktails is where La Vie really shines. Here are our five favorites.
If you’re looking for something to mess with your taste buds, the Dry Martini with Cucumbers & Nasturtium is certainly nothing like you’re expecting it to be. Most cucumber martinis lean crisp and refreshing, with a hidden current of booze underneath. Instead, La Vie has stirred up a very booze forward dry martini with Grey Goose, a splash of vermouth, a dash of cool cucumber and a handful of spicy nasturtium leaves and blossoms. Chew on the flowers while you sip and savor the spicy flavor.
Need something a little lighter? The Princess Pear is a great sparking wine cocktail packed with Cremant, lillet blanc, GP VSOP, pears, apples and other citrus. It’s a great light and bright poolside drink that goes down just as smoothly as it sounds. Give this to the light weights in your group and they’ll be just fine.
Back to the savory leaning options, You Say Tomato is refreshing as hell, without leaning as sweet as the Princess Pear. Made with Glendalough Wild Irish gin, tomatoes, strawberry, lemon and a dash of salt and pepper, it’s drinks like these that make me wonder why cherry tomatoes aren’t in more cocktails. They’re all I want to eat and drink this summer.
Looking for something with a little more booze? A solid brown drink that will get you drunk and taste good? The La Vie AF has your back. Featuring Wild Turkey, GP VSOP, Herbs de Provence, strawberries and a balsamic reduction, this cocktail has a little bit of everything. From the burn of the bourbon to the sweetness of the strawberries to acidity of the balsamic reduction, there’s a complexity that keeps you coming back for more.
Finally, if you want to match the aesthetics of La Vie and still have a killer cocktail, the French Margarita is calling your name. Featuring a saffron and clementine infused rhum, agave, Combier (aka Triple Sec) and lime, it’s a high end riff on the margarita with the sweet and aromatic taste of saffron. It also comes in a very cute teacup.
La Vie is a gorgeous bar with gorgeous drinks, but don’t expect quite the serene oasis feel you get from its lush decorations. La Vie is more of a party destination with its DJ booth and dining room that can easily be cleared to create a dance floor. Still, if you’re partying at The Wharf, it might be one of the best places where you can dance to top 40 remixes and get a good drink.