There is a little side street in Downtown Crossing called Winter Place where you will find a doorway, which leads to a small whitewashed room with hairdresser chairs and shelves with shampoo and conditioner bottles sparsely placed on them. There is a host who stands behind a high counter and greets you with a huge smile asking if you have a reservation. On Saturday night I had a reservation for three people at 7.30pm to sit in the lounge of Yvonne’s. Another host escorts you through the stark white door and into old, majestic 1950s opulence.
A first visit to Yvonne’s can make your jaw drop open a little bit. It’s just so glamorous, it makes a big grin transform your face into one of delight. There really is no place like it in Boston. There are three rooms to Yvonne’s all bathed in a warm, gold light. The lounge of velvet high-back chairs and red stools is where we were seated on Saturday. On previous evenings, I have had the pleasure of sitting in the cozy library surrounded by books on wood-carved cases and whimsical paintings on the walls, which make you look twice like the portrait of a tattooed JFK. I have also sat in the main restaurant, which still has the original bar from old Locke Ober. The restaurant is showered over by ornate, tear drop chandeliers. Yvonne’s sends me back to a time when I used to get so excited to get dressed up and go out. I love the feel of it.
My Saturday dining friends had never been to Yvonne’s before so I was asked to take the lead on our menu choices. I have tried many dishes and already have some stand-out favorites. The menu is geared towards sharing with Snacks, Toasts, Stone Fired Pitas, Social Plates and Feasts.
Before ordering food our evening started with cocktails from the thought-provoking drinks list. As usual I started with my go to of a dark Espresso Martini, which they make very well, while my friends picked a Metropolitan, which is a bit of twist on a Cosmopolitan with a splash of Cava and a Ladder District with rye and bitters ($11-12 each).
I recommended we start with the Baked Oysters Savannah, which are insanely good and get your tastes buds going into overdrive with lobster and porcini cream.
We ordered the Charred Maitake Mushroom Toast overloaded with earthy, sweet mushrooms, which complemented a perfectly spiced spread. This is a favorite dish of mine.
We also ordered the Crispy Tater Cubes. My friends were both obsessed with these fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside and coated with a sprinkle of shredded gouda bites of greatness. They eat all of them before I had a chance to snap a photo!
We paused for a while and checked out the wine list. We were looking for a lighter red but not a Pinot Noir. Michael the GM hit the nail on the head with recommending a fabulous Sangiovese he said we would “dig” and we did!
We continued our dining with Havana Pita topped with shredded pork, sweet ham and rich creamy gruyere and a spice of Chipotle aioli. Great pita!
A side of crunchy Seared Brussels Sprouts were a great pairing to our pita.
Our evening ended with an awesome dessert of dense dark chocolate cake. My friend’s also shared a Jiminy Cricket cocktail which they kindly gave them two straws for.
What we didn’t order this time but I would highly recommend are the Chicken & Quinoa Meatballs ($12), Lamb Sausage Pita ($16) and the Crispy Tuna Fregola Feast ($70). We shared this dish between five of us and it was perfect.
Throughout the evening we watched the crowds spilling into Yvonne’s. A mix of young and stylish 20-something year olds in high strappy sandals and tight dresses mingled with the elite Chanel wearing crowd of Boston. I love that you can wear trendy jeans and cool t-shirt or a strapless black dress and you would not feel out of place.
Yvonne’s is really a treat for everyone so make a reservation as it is hard to get into for dinner and enjoy the great food, people watch and have fun.
Check out the historic timeline from a small café on Winter place back in 1832 to 2015 and the opening of Yvonne’s.