Xiao Ye

Xiao Ye features standout dishes that change with the seasons.
Xiao Ye features standout dishes that change with the seasons.
written by Kerry Newberry

Every dish at Xiao Ye is an ode to memories—from the mini masa madeleines that arrive perched on a bluff of whipped butter with a sprinkle of jalapeño powder to the savory seasonal toast (on a recent night the chewy slices of sourdough came topped with roasted acorn and kabocha squash and a tangle of fresh herbs).

Even the name is steeped in nostalgia. When chef Louis Lin and his partner, Jolyn Chen, were recounting their most meaningful meals over the years, it wasn’t the fancy dinners that resonated most but the twilight dishes shared with family and friends. “I thought about the meals my dad and I had after a late night at work,” said Chen. In Mandarin, these dining moments are called xiao ye, which translates to midnight snack.

“It’s always cozy and comforting, and it’s the kind of experience we want to give people at the restaurant,” Chen added. The stage is set in the softly lit dining room with sage green tones and peekaboo book shelves. An alum of multiple Michelin star restaurants, Lin showcases standout dishes that change with the seasons from comforting creamed collards with roasted garlic and robiola cheese to an ethereal risotto with crème fraîche, stracchino and fresh hearts of palm.

Snag a seat at the chef’s counter and you can watch the culinary memories the couple wants to share come to life. But at any table, expect an intimate evening—and at some point, a visit from Chen, who often stops by to share a story and make sure you feel at home.


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