Descend into a Hidden World at Caveau, Boston’s New Nightlife Destination
The latest sibling to Yvonne’s and Lolita is here, and you’re going to want to dance.
Steps from the Government Center T, there’s another subway station, hidden and overgrown with moss and flowers from years of disuse. The entrance lies through an old-timey shop you’ve never noticed before, full of taxidermy, dried flowers, tins of herbal remedies, and more, with a narrow tunnel leading the way to the subway platform.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing that this station exists—because it didn’t, until today. May 5 marks the opening of Caveau, the newest nightlife destination from COJE Management Group. Like the team’s other venues—Yvonne’s, Mariel, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, Coquette, and more—Caveau is an intricately designed, visually stunning space that takes you countless miles from Boston and into a mysterious land. Where Lolita is dark and sexy and Coquette is floral and romantic, Caveau’s take on an abandoned underground subway station is magical and otherworldly. (Think Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, not The Last of Us.)
Designed by COJE’s in-house design team, the COJE Design Group, Caveau features a deliberately mismatched collection of seating and tables, with some intimate private tables hidden away. One focal point is a 3D plaster mural of a rabbit and flowers by the artist Blind Fox, whose vibrant pieces liven up countless Boston-area restaurants and venues. Plus, audiophiles will notice the high-end speaker setup, featuring one of the first full installations of the Void Incubus system in the U.S; it’s a favorite at nightclubs around the globe.
Caveau is certainly more nightlife destination than restaurant—it’s only open Thursday through Saturday, after all—but don’t expect sad bar bites and disappointing well drinks. The COJE team always goes above and beyond in the food and beverage department. Yvonne’s, for example, got a perfect four-star review—“extraordinary”—from our critic in early 2016, shortly after its debut in the historical Locke-Ober space downtown. Fast-forward to the present, and the venue is still going strong: It landed on the 2022 edition of our annual 50 Best Restaurants list thanks to its top-notch service, cocktails, and food.
At Caveau, the concise menu of small bites and desserts—available until 11 p.m.—looks to Pacific island nations, particularly French Polynesia, for inspiration. There’s Tahitian poisson cru, for example: a raw fish dish typically marinated in lime and coconut milk. Here, it also includes a kabayaki sauce (sweet soy glaze) and crushed macadamia nuts. A dish referred to as “Bora Bora shrimp” amps up blue prawns with a Tahitian vanilla and coconut sauce, while a Brussels sprouts and kale salad leans into island flavors with pickled pineapple and a chili vinaigrette.
Led by COJE’s chief culinary officer Tom Berry, the team is also serving a selection of French bread pizzas. The miso lobster is sure to be an early hit, combining lobster chunks with fontina, miso-garlic butter, kabayaki sauce, and yuzu pea greens. For those on Team Pineapples-Belong-on-Pizza, there’s one with masala chicken, pineapple, Maui onion, sweet chili glaze, and mozzarella. And make sure to save room for dessert: We’re already eyeing both options on the opening menu. There are banana fritters with pineapple caramel, candied macadamia nuts, and cardamom whip, and a frozen coconut tiramisu with coconut-mascarpone semifreddo, espresso chocolate cake, coconut macaroon, and caribe chocolate sauce.
To complement the food or fuel your night of dancing, the drink list from beverage director Ray Tremblay plays with tropical flavors, teas, and coffee. The Hanalei Bay, for example, punches up a rum blend with cold brew, ginger, lemongrass, coconut, lime, and macadamia, while High Tea features gin and papaya passion tea with bitter orange, lemon, and tonic. Groups will enjoy large-format selections like a boozy chai and a twist on bottle service. (That bottle of Champagne? It’s actually a chilled, carbonated cocktail.) Check out the opening food and drink menus below.
Put on your dancing shoes and head downtown: Caveau is here and ready to party.
Caveau debuts at 7 p.m. on May 5 and will subsequently be open from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, with food available until 11 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. 1 Center Plz., Suite 100, Downtown Boston, caveauofficial.com.