OK, first: It's pronounced "wine" and its spelling - Yn - is meant to suggest an element in a periodic table. The 131 placed vertically in the logo's upper right also helps, while implying (faintly) its heritage: The place is owned by the same folks who own the next-door 131 Main, and that restaurant's kitchen produced Yn's food.
I'm a sucker for a little mystery, so I love the name. Even more, I love that you would seriously never spot this place from the street; it's hard enough to find when you know the exact address. No neon signage, no lit signage, heck, no signage at all but for the wooden plaque by the door, which is angled in toward the Latta Pavilion's parking garage. You have to want to go here to get here.
And you want to go here.
Wine connoisseurs will find a nice, if not crazily expansive list, comfortable digs and a very limited menu that works well with drinks. Diners will find a wealth of knowledge, offered in an variety of ways - servers, wine lists, make-your-own-flights and let-us-help-you flights, with details about the wine and its maker, the identity of the grape and its place of origin, and the wine's general characteristic.
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Each red wine, for example, is rated in terms of where it falls on a scale of red fruit to black fruit predominance and on a scale of full to light. The Purple Teeth Flight gave me three, including one that was about off the chart on full and black (a 2008 Robert Foley Charbono with which I am now officially in love). The wines and flights shift and morph regularly, so you might get something different.
Cheeses and charcuterie run a short gamut - bleu to manchego, prosciutto to Spanish chorizo - so I'm hoping for more range eventually, and a few more bells and whistles would be welcome (various crackers and accompaniments), though portions are just fine for the $4-$6 prices.
The small-portioned and likewise-priced mains are lovely - a terrific braised short rib; a nice espresso-rubbed, seared tuna (watch that wasabi cream; it can deaden your 'buds) and bright shrimp spring rolls in soft rice paper wrappings. Carpaccio is fine; I'd only skip the smoked salmon nachos, which come inexplicably awash in a Gruyere bechamel sauce that effectively negates the subtlety of the fish.
Drinks extend well beyond wine, to a handful of spirits - Tito's Handmade Vodka, for instance, and the Scottish gin Hendrick's and Johnnie Walker Black (though it's spelled wrong) - plus some interesting beers along with more predictable ones, and soft drinks. (Let's hear it for ginger beer!)
Tiny lights high above the bar and caged pendants over tables keep Yn fairly dark; high windows sport blinds and bar-height tables sit on rustic floors. Servers are brisk and efficient and music's playing but you often can't quite hear it. Perhaps a little more mystery is intended.
Quirky, dark, interesting. Just don't flood the place.