A friend to my wife Jun and I recently visited from out of town in the last minute, so we scrambled to find a place for a Friday dinner. As any New Yorker would know, reserving a hot spot during peak times on a Friday can be quite a challenge and as I surveyed the new places that I have been meaning to check out with Jun, I found Yves, which opened on the stylish Greenwich Street strip of TriBeCa neighborhood. The restaurant had a cozy neighborhood vibe that was quite charming (and I love TriBeCa area for having so many places like this). Honestly, though, three days after having dinner at Yves, I can’t remember anything special about it (and Jun concurs).

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Roasted Beets, Vermont Chevre, Dill, Radishes, Candied Pistachio
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Grilled Octopus, Frisee, Nicoise Aioli, Aleppo Pepper

The menu at Yves is that of a typical New American bistro serving eclectic dishes with various culinary influences. NYC already has like 300 of those restaurants and not surprisingly it’s not easy to stand out among such places unless you have an impeccable level of execution and a coherent theme in what the kitchen is trying to achieve. Unfortunately, the kitchen at Yves seemed to lack a sense of direction, throwing a lot of crowd pleasers at the diners without carefully thinking about how to bring together a satisfactory meal. Roasted beets were serviceable, but grilled octopus simply wasn’t chewy enough and the black puree underneath the octopus was doing its own thing.

Rigatoni Rigate, Summer Squash, Cherry Tomato Confit, Squash Blossoms, Pecorino
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Roasted Duck Breast, Sequoia Cherries, Mustard Greens, Farro Perlatto
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Veal Schnitzel, Sauce Vert, Bitter Greens, Lemon, Poached Egg

Jun confessed that she stopped eating the tasteless rigatoni with summer squash, cherry tomato confit and squash blossoms after the first scoop, and complained after our meal that the roasted duck breast with sequoia cherries was not tender enough. The only saving grace from the large entrees we had tried was the veal schnitzel with poached egg that was quite aptly cooked but then, as Jun quipped, if you can’t even succeed in doing well with a fried dish, why not bother opening up a restaurant right? The desserts were pedestrian too. I slightly preferred the olive oil cake with almond and strawberries to the dull chocolate mousse with blood orange.

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Olive Oil Cake, Rose Sabayon, Almond, Strawberries
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Chocolate Mousse, Whipped Cream, Blood Orange

Getting a reservation at Yves was easy but the dining space was nearly packed in the course of our meal. There is full bar with usual cocktail and wine lists. I can tell that the restaurant is probably focusing more on the vibe of chic TriBeCa than the quality of food. If you’re looking for a casual night out or a first date without much fuss in a relaxing setting, Yves might be an option purely based on its location and atmosphere, but Jun and I will probably not come back for food.

KenScale: 7.0/10

  • Creativity: 7.0/10
  • Execution: 6.5/10
  • Ingredients: 7.5/10
  • Flavor: 7.5/10
  • Texture: 7.0/10
  • Value: 6.5/10

Address: 385 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

Telephone: (212) 431-3385

Website: http://yves-nyc.com/

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