First Impressions: Yves

yves-exteriorBack story: Matt Abramcyk and Akiva Elstein, partners in Smith & Mills and Navy, have turned the former Ivy’s Bistro space into an all-day restaurant called Yves. (Abramcyk’s other Tribeca establishments are Tiny’s and Warren 77; Elstein has Macao Trading Co.) Yves is named for an imaginary patron, as well as a gentle play on “Ivy’s.”

The atmosphere: The name might be an undue influence, but I’d say the moodboard must’ve been French Modernist, maritime, and minimal: Brick walls have been painted white; cane banquettes have cushions with piping. It’s a stripped-down departure from Tiny’s, Smith & Mills, and Macao. The yacht-y feel comes from wood paneling around the appealing booth nook and the round elements (circular light fixtures, kitchen-door windows, and bar-stool seats). I’d wager that the decor was pared down in order to emphasize the large windows; the N. Moore side has really been opened up.

yves-tablesThe menu: It’s refreshingly small—six appetizers, six entrées. The food is fancier than at Abramcyk’s and/or Elstein’s other establishments, which might explain why the prices are higher. Over two meals, I’ve tried the Little Gem salad, beet tagliatelle, gnocchi (a riff on clam chowder), roasted mushrooms, salmon, and cod. And the fries, of course.

yves-menu-by-paul-wagtouicz-courtesy-yvesGold star: With the exception of the mushrooms—I’ve had it with truffle oil, so I shouldn’t have ordered the dish in the first place—everything delivered, if not especially memorably. Reading the menu, I was expecting food a Frenchified Tiny’s, but it’s a bit fussier than that. The salmon was apparently cooked sous vide, and the “crispy skin” mentioned in the description was served alongside as a garnish. The spiralized part of the beet dish was delicious, but the accompanying hunks of beet can be found elsewhere for less than $15. Which brings up the question of value…. My guess is that the prices seemed high to people because they were hoping for something akin to Ivy’s, but the price of dinner at Yves is more in line with Little Park, Houseman, and Tribeca Grill. (Except it occasionally blips higher: the $20 cocktail, the $38 steak.) I’ve found more finesse at Little Park and more brio at Houseman, but Yves may yet get there.

yves-salmon-by-paul-wagtouicz-courtesy-yvesRoom for improvement: When full, Yves must be very loud, and I don’t know that anything can be done about it—if anyone wants to. On my first visit, conversation was rough, due to the table for 14 directly behind us. But even when I ate at the bar, early on a quiet Monday night, the noise/music level was high. This is where people should ask themselves: What do I value in a restaurant? If you prioritize style and liveliness, Yves is your place.

yves-roomAnything else? Lunch and brunch will start right after Thanksgiving, with breakfast to follow in time. There will also be outdoor seating next year, which is sure to be lovely. That corner gets the prettiest light in Tribeca.

Contact: Yves is at 385 Greenwich (at N. Moore), 212-431-3385,

yves-boothThe menu and salmon photos are by Paul Wagtouicz, courtesy Yves.

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  1. Ate there last night, actually!

    I *despise* having a reservation and then having to wait 20 minutes to sit – so off the bat, I was annoyed with this place. Our waitress turned out to be great, though. The place was packed, and you’re right – we were screaming at each other.

    For food, had the burrata and octopus, which were great. Partner had the salmon, which he loved…and I did the mushrooms, which I agree were meh.

    Overall, it was a nice meal and the space is beautiful – but couldn’t help thinking I’d have had a better evening across the street at Locande Verde.

  2. Agreed with you both. Overpriced for what it is and for me didn’t like my meal at all. Weiner Schnitzel was cooked as if the grease wasn’t hot enough and laden with grease and Salmon was cold. Service was very good.The acoustics are horrible…. But you both said all that.
    I love the spot and hope that it improves but guessing because of the commercial rents in Tribeca its not lowering its prices.

  3. I have had the pleasure of visiting Yves on two separate occasions and I believe it is a local treasure!
    For a neighborhood sorely lacking in lively, intimate and unpretentious eateries, Yves is more than a welcome addition. The spirited atmosphere only adds to the fun. BRAVO to Abramcyk and Elstein for keeping TriBeCa delicious and relevant!

  4. Jayne, I don’t believe Abramcyk and Elstein are the only ones keeping Tribeca relevant. How insulting to other businesses and landmarks in the area.