Tuesday, October 14, 2014

X2O - Xaviar's on Hudson Review

One of my all time favorite restaurants is X2O: Xaviar's on Hudson. [Warning: this post might be slightly long, but it also has a TON of pictures - you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it.]

This restaurant is located in Yonkers, right next to, or should I say on, the Hudson River. It is owned by Chef Peter Kelly who is very well known around the Hudson Valley area. He has additional restaurants that have been well received by people such as Xaviar's Restaurant (Piermont) and Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar. He has been on Iron Chef, beating the contender with the "Cowboy Rib Eye" and even hosted Anthony Bourdain.

The scenery that you get from the restaurant is really stunning. I've been here for brunch once and for dinner on multiple occasions. I'll be honest - ALL of the dishes weren't perfect, but my experiences here have made it one of my favorite restaurants.

The pricing is not horrible and the ambiance of the restaurant is quite nice for a romantic dinner and it is fitting for a casual lunch or brunch too. They also allow you to pack the food and order for take away which is a plus for me. ALSO, they do promotions on Groupon where I've purchased a 3 course dinner for TWO for $85 -- I've seen others using this at the restaurant as well, and the good thing about it is that you can choose from their regular menu. They don't have a select menu for Groupon users, which is great! I've also seen some promotions at Costco where you can purchase a $100 gift card for $75 or something like that. So, keep an open eye for those!!! :)

I've read some reviews online where people talk about decor and I definitely understand that that can be a part of someone's experience but if the food is really good, I think it's worth over looking that stuff. Sure you can work on those things but there are some places out there where the decor/interior of the spot might not be the best but the food is just banging! Don't you agree? Online, there have been divided reviews regarding experiences at the restaurant, which is definitely understandable but, I am definitely glad to say that I've had a wonderful, satisfying experience each and every time.

You can check out their menu here: http://www.xaviars.com/restaurants/xaviars-x20-on-the-hudson/



Asparagus Flan: I had this appetizer during my first time at this restaurant, which was during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week in March 2014. I am a big fan of flan, but this savory version was such a new concept to me that I just had to try it! I am sure glad that I did because it was FANTASTIC. The moment I got a taste of it, my eyes widened and I was in complete awe. The flavor, seasoning, the presentation was just superb. Two thumbs up for this dish, and I really wish that they add this to their menu for future appetizers because it is HEAVEN.
Asparagus Flan with Rock Shrimp
Seared Scallop with Risotto: This was a special on the day that I went for brunch with my mom and brother, and wow, it was ON POINT. The seasoning was good and the creamy risotto really paired well with the scallop. The texture of the scallop was fantastic and just sooo gooooood!!!

Butternut Squash Bisque: I am a lover of all sorts of soups, and this one really hits the spot. Full of flavor, yet a very simple taste... It's quite wonderful. The gingered marshmallows are a great addition to the bisque as well. (I can probably eat a whole bag of them on their own because they're so good!)

Seafood Crepe: I never ordered this dish, but when I tasted it, it was really good, but it isn't something that I would go for. Not for my palate, but I won't deny that it's pretty good.

Grilled Portuguese Octopus: The octopus is just delicious. The meat is very tender and full of flavor. It pairs very well with the mango, papaya salad it is laid upon and there's a spicy kick to this dish which makes it all the more better.

Grilled Portuguese Octopus with Mango, Papaya Salad
Steamed Japanese Custard with Warm Shellfish: This is a very rich appetizer but it's not overwhelming. I thought it was quite delicious. They pour in the dashi in front of you but I wish the waiter who poured in the dashi for me poured in a little more... If there was more, I think it would have tasted even better because the custard was a bit rich but the dashi cut through the custard's richness. The flavor that the dashi had made it more enjoyable too.


Two Slices of Steak: This is just the very normal, go-to dish if you don't know what you want to get on the menu. The steak is good, the mashed potatoes are great, and the side green beans are good too. Very normal, nothing super creative but nonetheless, it's pretty good.

Pan Seared Diver Scallops: I think of it as the enhanced version of the "special of the day" seared scallop appetizer, mentioned above. If you're a lover of scallops, then go for this because these are just so good. The risotto is creamy, and the mushrooms are a great addition.

Grilled Cod with Pureed Potatoes and Bok Choy: It's a very clean dish that has a very simple, "clean" and refreshing taste. There is a slightly creamy sauce for the dish that adds a bit more flavor to the fish but it's balanced by the bok choy. The pureed potato is very good, but there isn't anything too overpowering with flavor.

Grilled Locally Raised Quails: It was my first time having quails and it was better than expected. The texture wasn't weird and it tasted similar to chicken. I liked the seasoning and the sauce on the dish, but I do wish they had more potatoes and the pickled onions. Not sure if I'll choose this dish again though.

Duet of Heritage Pork: I actually accidentally got this dish and tried it, even though I shouldn't have since this wasn't the dish I ordered. This is definitely for a pig-meat lover. The tenderloin has a great texture and it's filled with flavor but I don't think it needs to be wrapped in bacon again. It's great on its own. The crispy belly was really fatty and a bit too rich for my taste but the plum mostarda was really good. There's a strong mustard/wasabi taste to the broccoli rabe which was a bit surprising and didn't look like it fit with the dish.

Duck Leg Confit: I didn't order this dish for myself but I had a taste and it was really good. The duck was crispy and had good flavor. The peach mostarda was very good and complimented the duck well. I think it would have been better to switch out the pommes frites for another side, perhaps, potato salad or grilled potatoes.


Creme Brulee: Really good. Not too sweet, but it's not lacking in the sweetness department either. It's very smooth and creamy - a classic.

Alsation Cheesecake with Riesling: This was really, really, really good. I love that there was a thin layer of chocolate that wasn't overpowering the cheesecake. The cheesecake itself was really smooth and had just the right amount of sweetness.

Caramel Flan with Fruit: Great flan, very smooth and creamy. Really delicious. What else can I say?

 When you go for brunch, in addition to the appetizer, entree, and dessert, they pass four additional pieces of food to try, give unlimited breads, and give unlimited champagne. When I went for brunch, they passed: Coconut Shrimp with Dijon Mustard Sauce, Roast Rack of Baby Lamb, Crispy Tuna Roll, and Wild Mushroom Ravioli. All of these additional pieces were really good.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this restaurant for people to try.

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