Went to X2O last night expecting a Peter Kelly experience...did not get it at all. Things started on the wrong foot when my drink order came out wrong. Twice. And a second drink just never arrived. Very nice menu but the food didn't live up to the menu's descriptions. Ordered the fish chowder. It came with a fussy presentation: the server placed oyster crackers in the soup bowl and then poured the soup into the bowl from a small white "teapot." The soup was tepid. Sent it back. The same bowl was returned. The soup was hotter but the crackers were now soggy. Maybe a whole new soup would not have been too much trouble? Ordered the tuna app. on the captain's suggestion. Didn't like it. Would have thought a replacement might have have been offered. Nope. Berkshire Black Hog mignon was cooked way past medium, past well and just into the over-cooked zone. Dry and tasteless. Great gingered sweet pot. and vibrant green beans were of some consolation. Asked for some wine advice about a perhaps too-young 2003 Prunaio. Was told that it should be fine since "it's made from sangiovese grapes. Same as a chianti. And chianti is fine after 4 years." Not a good sign when Prunaio and chiantis are equated. Went with a '99 Barolo which was so good that I didn't even mind having to pour most it myself. The service, for the most part, was well-intentioned but inept. The place was fully booked out so I'm sure the staff was over-extended. Waited way too long to get the check and then to have it taken. The captain was great when he asked how we enjoyed the evening and we told him that we didn't and why we didn't. Some adjustments were made to the bill which we appreciated it but we would have appreciated a real P.K. night more. Needs work!
O.K. I thought I was the only one who was underwhelmed by my visit to X20, so I said nothing. A friend and I went at 7 on a Tues. night, and the dining room was already "fully committed". We ate in the bar area, but offered the dining room menu as well. We had to sit at the large, long table even though we were 2. Other 2's entering after us were offered regular tables even though they were 4-tops. That bugged me, b/c we had asked to sit at one, too. On the plus side, I found our waiter to be delightful, pleasant and full of good suggestions. He was very attentive. I ordered the soft shell crab. It was salty as hell. I didn't send it back b/c I thought maybe it was the puffed rice and I had never eaten it before. I don't recall what else we ate ( I know we ordered sides) b/c dinner was a blur. Apps, entrees and desert were served so fast that I felt like I was choking down my food, or like it had been sitting and waiting in the back. The service was rushed and I felt uneasy as I watched a larger group looming at the bar-wanting to sit at the larger table. The desert was divine- butterscotch pudding like I've never had in my life. As we left, I stopped at the front to inquire about a reservation MORE than a MONTH in advance for my husband's birthday ( I thought maybe a weekend, dining room experience would be different) and they were clueless. I waited a while as they looked to find their book, and then they told me they were "fully committed" for the evening I wanted. This was with using the name of someone who is a top-tier employee of the Kelly group- at his suggestion. Then, the girl just looked at me. No, "let me take your name and see what we can do" or " Perhaps in the time in between we might have a cancellation- could I phone you if we do?" I said to her- "sooooo, that's it?" And she said, " yeah, sorry". My friend and I were stunned.
Having nothing to do with the restaurant, but marring the experience further, was the ineptitude of the valet station who took 25 minutes to find our cars. I really wanted to go home at that point!!!
I can't say I'd return anytime soon, though I wanted to fall in love with the place. I guess I should have insisted that they slow down the service....not sure why I didn't in retrospect.
I have to say, I was hesitant to write anything but a glowing review for X2O after we went there 7/28 for dinner with another couple for fear of verbal attacks, but we had a similar experience. Although our order was correct, the food was not quite up to standard. Let me also say, I love Peter Kelly's restaurants. I was married at Xaviar's in Garrison 10 years ago and have been loyal ever since.
That being said, we were all disappointed. Our waiter made terrible recommendations which I regreted listening to later. I ha the soft shell crabs for an entree and the short rib ravioli to start. Just nothing special. The only item we were wowed by was for dessert my husband got the creme brulee duo on a caramel pedistal. The taste and presentation were outstanding.
I hope he works out the kinks, we really want to love this place. Will try again this winter, maybe.
I had a worse experience at X2O on July 3rd but I gave them the benefit of being new and so I did not want to post a comment. I figured I give them a while to work things out and give it another try, but based on frank113 comments I will give it a few more months before I return. My biggest complaint is that they knew very well about the half dozen or more major mistakes at my table (like my guest waiting 20 minutes for his entree when we already had ours) and did not acknowledge or offer to remedy anything. I really hope for there sake they work out the kinks!
We also had a fair experience on two separate times -- the first time we weren't overwhelmed like we should have been, considering the price we were paying. The second time, not only was the food not up to par, but the service lacked, and we were billed for items we never ordered.
If its the tuna parfait you are talking about, it was too fussy, I could have done without the fennel pana cotta or whatever that mass of a lump was. We were much happier with the food and the experience next door at Belle Havana -- a restaurant that I hope survives! (Now that the Times gave it a stellar review, I'm sure it will) The tuna tartare there is more about the tuna, no frills.
And thats coming from a tuna fan!