Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Review: Elegant Dining at X2O

I was more than happy to oblige when an old college friend asked if I would lend him space on the blog for a review of a restaurant he visited for his birthday. If a meal was that inspiring - how could I say no? I've always known him to have a penchant for writing, but this is his first food review.

Xaviars on the Hudson 2007 Jason Woodruff

Elegant Dining at X2O
by J. Smith

Thanks to Local Foods Rocks.

X2O Xaviers on the Hudson is the next wave of fusion cuisine under the management of Peter X Kelly.

I wouldn't consider myself a foodie or a gourmand. I do enjoy elegant, fine dining though. Sometimes the hype just doesn't compare the output. Not in this case. X2O is a true culinary experience. Yonkers might be your next hot spot or epicenter for a taste of different flavors. Going to X2O was no ordinary decision by myself. It was two days after my 40th birthday. I wished it to be memorable and eventful for my guests as well as myself.

I decided on X2O because of the menu that looked to offer a bit of everything swirled together. There are carnivores on my sister's side of the family; I knew my aunt preferred something more exotic. I was in the mood for a wild card. My uncle would usually order veal parmigiana. I knew that the variety of the cuisine at X2O would be approved by our party of 9.

We arrived early for our 6:30 reservations. The servers offered us three options for bread. I did not order a cocktail, a craft beer, or a glass of wine. It must have been the emotional anticipation and anxiety of turning 40. The landscapes to the right and left of the windows were majestic and tranquil. The lights caste down the Hudson were on display from the two bridges. It was a bit magical. Back to the meat of the matter:

I observed the menu with an open mind and stomach. For an appetizer, I filled my appetite with a Caesar salad with garlic notes on a bed of baby romaine lettuce. I have never been fond of anchovies though. Whenever my aunt cooks a pot of gravy, she adds that ingredient to her recipe. I can hear the Anchovy Police now.

Next, I didn't wish to order an entree that would be too conservative even for conservative self. I could have been content with an organic chicken or a well-done sirloin. After careful deliberation, I decided on the Braised Short Rib of Beef. It was quite delicious. The parsnip puree/crispy cauliflower chili and onion crust were the proper blend of vegetables and spices. The beef seemed to be soft and tender like a brisket. It was an excellent choice. My tastebuds thanked me later.

Lastly, the dessert menu had to be negotiated upon. The more decadent and dreamy the better - like a chocolate-infused confection. My mother left a message with one of the waiters. I ordered a Chocolate
Praline Tart that consisted of Hazelnut Mousseline, a Florentine Cookie and a dollup of Honey Ice Cream. The wait staff brought out an additional dessert with a candle on it. I had no complaints. I made a wish; though I don't think I will be rich for a long, long while.

We were relaxed for 3 hours or so. Never did we feel rushed or pushed. I left with a favorable impression of X2O. I highly recommend this culinary gem to anyone who wishes for an elegant, first-class restaurant in which to enjoy. You won't regret it.

BTW Thanks Ned Kelly for the wee bit of irish, dry humor.
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