Yesterday morning I decided to check opentable on the off-chance something had opened at x20 during hudson valley restaurant week. I was both surprised and thrilled to see a reservation available for 7:30 tonight.
By way of background, we're huge fans of Peter Kelly's restaurants. Our go-to, special event spot for many years was the highlands country club in Garrison. We had many memorable meals there. Our favorites were the wine dinners conducted n partnership with Visount, a local wine shop, that supplied great, and in some cases, rare wine.
We were sad when the Highlands closed but it pushed us to try all the Peter Kelly restaurants. I can honestly say that not only have we never had a bad meal at one of his restaurants, every single meal has been great. Until tonight.
Let me start by saying the appetizers and desserts were delicious. We had goat cheese salad, warm mushroom custard, blueberry cobbler and a chocolate dome. My mushroom custard was great, the other dishes very good.
The problem were the main dishes. I ordered the crispy half duck. The portion was much bigger than I expected, there was a beautiful, delicate reduction sauce on the plate, but the duck was far from crispy and tasted like it was re-heated. It was edible, but it wasn't anywhere near the standard we've come to expect from a PK restaurant. It certainly would have gone back were we paying full fare (and I've sent less than 5 plates back in my life) but I felt stupid complaining given the price. My wife had "whole sirloin", which was sliced sirloin with a couple of nice sauces. Again, it was certainly edible but not really anything we couldn't cook up at home.
In the end, did we get our $28 worth? Sure, the appetizer, bread and dessert were probably worth $28. And I get that the restaurant may have wanted to take some shortcuts for HVRW. But I would have been much happier with half my duck portion in return for double the quality. Given this introduction to X20, I can't imagine we'll be back.
note: there are some bargains to be had on the wine list. And though not a bargain, the 2007 flora springs merlot by the glass is very nice. Not your typical insipid, wimpy merlot.
X20 Xaviar's On the Hudson
71 Water Grant Street, Yonkers, NY 10701
I've been so busy at work I've not had time to update this. Peter Kelly sent me an eloquent and heart felt apology concerning our experience. He stated that the restaurant does not cut corners during HVRW and I do take him at his word. He generously offered to demonstrate his commitment to excellence were we to visit X20 again.
You have to love someone that stands behind their product. I've not had time to make another reservation but we'll be taking him up on his gracious offer.
I am surprised that HVRW is organized to charge $20 for lunch and $28 for dinner.
Were the numbers chosen arbitrarily based on higher operating costs in the Hudson valley?
In Buffalo and Pittsburgh, Local Restaurant Week charges a price equal to the year.
For example, this year the dinner price was $20.10
That's not really true. They were charging the cents to match the year. Then last year they charged .26.09 in honor of the Hudson celebration (really hokey). I know it was $16.09 for lunch and $26.09 for dinner last year. The dinner increase does not bother me as much as the lunch increase, which I think is excessive. That said, they did get a record number of restaurants to participate, so obviously the higher prices convinced more places to join.
Stamford, CT recently had RW and they were charging $30 for dinner at high end restaurants, although they actually had different price points and some restaurants (like Tengda) were doing $10 lunch and $20 dinners.
As for Equus and parking fees, remember they ONLY charge it during HVRW.
While HVRW seems to bee a good opportunity to try a new restaurant, I never attend them. They usually serve a menu that they do not normally serve, they are getting crowds they don't normally get and I don't think it is a fair test of any restaurant. Go back after restaurant week. I don't think you will be dissappointed.
I really encourage you to try again after RW is over. The non-RW experience at X2O is so superior. We've been twice for RW, and after last time, we vowed never to go back during RW. It just can't compare. Of the four times I've been there during the rest of the year, I can only recall one dish I wasn't completely happy with. Although I understand why you might not want to, definitely consider it.
71 Water Grant Street, Yonkers, NY 10701