Downtown Newport, Kentucky is an enigma: part modern, cool and hip; the other part a bit worn, reminiscent of the grand days when this are was flourishing. The location of York Street Cafe HS some of both, but the Cafe itself appears to be part of the renaissance of the North Newport area, and undoubtedly within a year or two this will be "the place to go" south of the Levee.
The food is exquisite. Our apps consisted of the blue gold salad (mesclun, yellow beets, blueberries, almond slivers, goat cheese and the most AMAZING homemade Gorgonzola dressing. Companion had a tray of shrimp grilled in some confection that included bacon and other naughties that she still raved about an hour after we left. We also had basket of wonderful whole grain bread with pats of butter.
Entrees were a 1/2 grilled chicken prepared with bacon, apple cider, and other ingredients, with sides of garlic potatoes and broccoli. And an encrusted tilapia smothered in spinach, artichokes and a cream cheese topping, with sides of rice and broccoli. Both entrees were perfectly prepared, with delicate but definite flavors that commanded the diners' respect without overpowering.
One dessert was wrapped for home: a slice of red velvet cake that satiated companion's sweet tooth.
The decor is terrific: a blend of antiques, kitsch, junk, and everything in between. Some is for sale, and next door is a mercantile where other similar jewels can apparently be bargained for. The owner's decision to convert a former old-fashioned pharmacy works well, especially since the lighting fixtures, bar area and other original decor is still in place.
Dinner for two with drinks, apps, entrees, one dessert, tax, and a very generous tip for Chris, who is the most charming and helpful waiter around, came to $100, with enough good food left over for a full dinner tomorrow night.
The York Street Cafe should continue to grow and blossom along with the rest of the downtown Newport area. Please, though, don't let it lose its charm, ambiance, and above all, amazing food.