The Emerald, a covert lounge on Parc Avenue, welcomes you with white painted steps leading to an unmarked spot where barmen in tuxedos serve classic cocktails made true to the drop.
Bird of paradise plants trim minty-green walls, Italian movie soundtracks play, dim lighting hangs over the bar, and slow moving fans add to the nostalgia. Through the archway to the back, discover a French Moroccan lair. Lanterns cast shadows on black walls; Persian rugs add warmth and antique sofas form intimate, candlelit sections.
While they suggest their cocktail menu as only a starting point, from it I order the Moscow Mule ($10) for their homemade ginger syrup. Waiters consult their pocket journals for inspiration. Imported beers also make up the menu ($9) as well as one label of red and white wine ($10).
Though the Emerald may intimidate at first, it’s the perfect place to feel anonymous. It’s sometimes referred to as Vaisseau Vert or no name bar, but names here are an afterthought. I go for the bow ties, art of sabrage, live music events, and because Hemingway would approve.