I have been wanting to go to Yvonne's since it opened. Now that I work in Cambridge, I don't dine out downtown as much anymore, especially during the week. When I made plans with a friend to see a concert at the Orpheum Theater, she asked if I had any ideas for where we should have dinner beforehand and I knew exactly what to suggest!
Yvonne's is located on Winter Place, a quiet, almost secretive off shoot of Winter Street.
A black and white crest with lipstick red lights hangs over the front door, beckoning passersby to come in and join the fun.
We tried to get a reservation both on OpenTable and by calling the restaurant, but they were completely booked. On the phone the hostess mentioned that you can order from the entire menu at the bar, so we decided to chance it. Lucky for us, we arrived early enough to snag two seats.
Yvonne's is known for their creative, highly garnished cocktails. After studying the drink menu, I started with the pumpkin spice mule. If ordering something pumpkin spice makes me basic, I do not care. This was worth it!
I wasn't sure how pumpkin would taste mixed with ginger, but I loved it.
My friend ordered a drink called the King Louie, which in other parts of the country is known as a painkiller. It was vodka, coconut, roasted pineapple, banana and nutmeg, garnished with a purple orchid flower.
I took a sip and I immediately felt transported to a tropical island.
With drinks in hand, it was time to peruse the dinner menu. Though Yvonne's is famous for their drinks, I was even more excited about the food.
Rather than be selective, we decided to just go for it and order everything that appealed to us. The first dish to arrive was the seared halloumi cheese with charred eggplant, orange honey and crispy chick peas. I discovered the joy of crispy chick peas at Figidini in Providence, RI and now I am hooked!
In between each piece of halloumi was a paper thin slice of crostini. The crostini added a nice crunch to each bite. We both couldn't get enough of the eggplant puree on the plate. We used our forks to make sure we got every last drop before they took the plate away.
Next we tried the apple-cheddar fritters with burnt sage aioli, maple walnuts and curry oil. These were fantastic. They had a nice crunch on the outside, but a warm and decadent center.
Continuing our gluttony, we sampled the tater cubes over joppiesaus (a Dutch snack sauce), farm house gouda cheese and a beet pickled egg. How gorgeous is the color of that egg?
Each tot was crispy and blanketed in shredded gouda. Beneath the mountain of tots was the joppiesaus, which was creamy and totally addicting.
Since neither of us can resist brussel sprouts, we wanted to try Yvonne's rendition. The sprouts were charred and served with garlicky walnuts, feta cheese and mirasol pepper sauce. The char flavor really made the dish.
Our final dish was my favorite, the stone fired pita topped with charred kale, Italian hot peppers, roasted garlic, hardwick stone cheddar cheese and red onion. The pita was thin and crispy and I loved the heat and spice from the peppers.
Before heading to the concert we tried one more cocktail each. When we were ready for a second round we were greeted by a new bartender (not the one who had been serving us) and I recognized him right away - it was Bruno from Tavern Road! You may remember he taught the Brazilian cocktail class I took there two summers ago.
Bruno shook up a drink called the remedy for my friend. It's reposado tequila, lime, ginger honey and mezcal. When you lifted the drink towards your lips it smelled smoky, but then it tasted very smooth. This is dangerously drinkable.
I tried the sherry cobbler which is sherry, pimms, blackberry and mint garnished with a purple orchid and a dusting of powdered sugar.
For me, the drink had a very strong grape taste (likely from the sherry). I wouldn't order this particular one again.
Before scooting, we ducked into the ladies room. I love this black and white photo behind the mirrors of a paparazzi mob.
Just beyond the row of sinks is a tangerine couch. I love a ladies room with a couch! It's perfect for gossiping, which let's face it, is the reason women go to the bathroom in groups. The art work over the couch reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Stina Persson.
Yvonne's was everything I hoped for and more. A fun atmosphere, exotic drinks and delicious food. The restaurant is just steps from the Park Street T stop, making it super easy to get to. If you can't get a reservation, don't be discouraged. They serve the full menu at the bar and in all the lounge areas.