Food & dining

quick bite

At Yvonne’s, a modern-day Locke-Ober

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Where to Yvonne’s, a “modern reinterpretation of the supper club” from the team behind Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, located in the space that was Locke-Ober for more than a century.

What for A menu built for sharing. A raucous bar scene spread out over two rooms. And a glimpse of the old girl, revamped for modern audiences.

The scene Enter through a space set up like a hair salon. A doorman inquires whether new arrivals have reservations, then lets everyone in. In one direction is the Library Bar, walls lined with books and a portrait of a tattooed JFK (a Locke-Ober patron). There are candles and couches, antlers and flowers, cow-patterned armchairs, a gilded fireplace. A woman wearing a bike helmet cavorts with co-workers; a young man with long, puffy hair gazes into the eyes of a companion. In the other direction, a lounge area leads into the dining room. Locke-Ober’s hand-carved bar remains, now topped with white marble. The original, ornately carved dark wood is here, too. Local chefs and bartenders mingle; a frosted blonde with frosted pink lipstick gets frosted. The dining room is filled with grand chandeliers, curved acid-green booths and tufted gray couches, and swags of light bulbs. On the wall hangs a portrait of a nude standing in the same pose as restaurant namesake Mademoiselle Yvonne, featured in the Locke-Ober painting that was draped in black whenever Harvard lost to Yale.

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What you’re eating Culinary director Tom Berry (Nantucket’s the Proprietors) and executive chef Juan Pedrosa (the Glenville Stops) serve up pumpkin hummus, baked oysters “Savannah” (a nod to Locke-Ober’s famous lobster dish), and toasts and flatbreads with a variety of toppings. “Social plates” range from grilled octopus with gigante bean salad to chicken-quinoa meatballs to tuna crudo with pickled mango, black bean crema, and jalapeno vinaigrette (pictured). There are also large-format “feasts” such as the grilled “viper” chop — pork short rib with kimchi fried rice. Pastry chef Kate Holowchik (Bread & Salt Hospitality) creates fanciful treats like Negroni ice cream cones with orange zest Magic Shell.

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Care for a drink? The Library Bar list features champagne juleps, Gibsons, and other modernized classics. At the bar in the dining room, sample inventions like the gin-based Rubicon, scented with rosemary, and the Ladder District (rye, Calvados, cinnamon, and bitters). Both bars, of course, offer the Ward 8, supposedly created at Locke-Ober.

Overheard Talk about Snapchat, juice bars, and the restaurant business. “Want a haircut? You can’t get a haircut,” a woman teases her boyfriend at Yvonne’s entrance. “It’s a Tar-zhay special,” someone exclaims as her outfit gets compliments. Industry workers reminisce: “I loved having 50 seats. The food was great. The staff was great.” A man looks around, biting his lip. “I love the space — sexy, sexy,” he murmurs. “I just want real success. Real success,” someone declares. “Now is the time in your life to take risks,” his friend assents. A group saunters up to the bar: “Can we get three Fireball shots?” Beverage director Will Thompson replies diplomatically. “We don’t carry Fireball, but we can do something similar.” A woman orders a Rubicon and chortles as it’s made: “He burned my rosemary!”

2 Winter Place, Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-267-0047, www.yvonnesboston.com.

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.