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XYZ: Half price wine (thru August) and great corn soup

nja Aug 2, 2006 04:38 PM

So a few weeks ago I tried XYZ with some out-of-towners. The word on this board and others was that the food was decent but not equal to other restaurants in its category/price range. I thought that was generally true, but there were some really good dishes. If you ordered well you could have a Myth-like or Range-like meal. But the real reason to check this place out is the wine deal, running through the end of August. Half price on any bottle on the list, which is a pretty good one. Lots of interesting areas to explore (the Loire, Burgundy, and domestic Pinot Noir were especially appealing to me). Only real catch is that you can't get a half priced bottle in the XYZ Lounge or W Bar, you have to eat in the restaurant.

By far the best dish was the corn soup. Intense, sweet, bright, clear corn flavor with a few cockles for garnish. Do not miss. The amuse of ahi tartare was also excellent. The crab frito is also worth ordering. While the gazpacho was made interesting by the addition of smoked prawns, I think it might have been a little too early such a dish; it may be worth trying later in August as the season improves. Caeser salad was well done.

The scallop with corn risotto was the best entree (which I think should have been the entree for the four-course corn tasting menu instead of the beef, but it wasn't). The fennel-crusted beef tenderloin, halibut, and sea bass entrees were good, though when compared to what I've had for the same prices (~$30) around town, they don't quite measure up. Somebody else at the table ordered the chicken and seemed to like enjoy it aplenty, but I didn't taste it myself.

I don't have any dessert recommendations. The corn panna cotta didn't have enough corn flavor for me and had a mushy texture. There was one other dessert ordered but I can't recall what it was now.

Looks like the wine deal is good at lunch, where many of the same appetizers I recommended are available, but with less expensive and sandwichy lunch options for the main. That may be a better way to take advantage of the wine deal.

my XYZ query: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/309207
XYZ homepage: http://www.xyz-sf.com/xyzprofile.html
Michael Bauer's take: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...