new york city Review

Restaurant Review: YN

January 5, 2016


227 Mott St, NY, NY, 10012

Recommendation: Make a beeline for the formaggi and salumi, they usually run a deal that gets you 5 choices for around $35. For the amount of delicious meat and cheese and toasty bread they serve up, it’s a total deal. Go ahead and order a glass of prosecco too, you know you want to.

YN was the first restaurant I stepped foot in after moving to the city and I fell madly in love at first sight (and bite). Part wine bar, part excellent Italian restaurant, this tiny, primarily bar-seating restaurant serves wines, small and large plates that pay homage to different Italian regions and traditions. The space is almost excessively quaint, with bottles and jars of Italian alimentary products sitting next to copper pans on the shelves that line the brick walls. But thanks to its quality products and charming staff, YN manages to dodge the bougie vibe that permeates a large part of Mott Street these days.
The first time I ate at YN, my brother and I were happy hour-hopping through Nolita and arrived at the restaurant around 5 p.m. The happy hour specials here are excellent; from 4-7 p.m. all crostini and cheeses are $5, and select glasses of wine from their carefully curated list are $7. After realizing that we were the only people and that it appeared as if there was just one girl working behind the bar, we decided to try a couple of the aforementioned crostini and were pleasantly surprised with both the product and the service. (It has continued to be my experience that there are never more than two folks working and they do it all: take orders, pour drinks, and prepare food behind the counter). After ordering three crostini: chevre, anchovies, and pecan, we ordered a couple of glasses of barolo and chatted with the waitress while she prepped our order.

The crostini were amazing, served on thick slices of good bread that was toasted and drizzled generously with olive oil (and they’re happy to keep the bread coming) and not overpowering or fussy in their presentation or taste. Since that meal, I’ve been back for brunch and dinner, and have had nothing but good experiences. I will say that breakfast/brunch tends to be a little more “american” and heavy duty as well as perhaps not being as good of a deal, but it’s delicious all the same.

If you find yourself in Nolita (or really within 20 minutes of this place) I highly recommend stopping in, even if it’s just for a coffee or some bread and cheese. YN manages to at once be a neighborhood cafe and a reliable source for delicious small plates, all reasonably priced and housed in a space that will make you dream of Instagram fame.

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