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Jul 31, 2010 04:21 PM

X2O..not bad....

My wife and dined here for the prix fixe, $25.00 lunch. The meal was not bad, although my meal was not the best. I had coconut shrimp which was great as was my wifes' mushroom ravioli. My wife had the Salmon which was cooked perfectly. My pork loin was not as impressive, since there was charred kale and rather bland polenta. The wines by the glass were nice. Great service and a not so bad view of NJ. Would probably head back there for dinner.

71 Water Grant Street, Yonkers, NY 10701

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  1. I find this an interesting post and a headline which attracted my attention. I have read so many good posts about X20 here on Chowhound and I have been to X20 a few times where I had delicious dinners with good service. The last time I went the hostess tried to seat us in the center longitudinal section that has the poorest views. When I declined she tried to sit us upstairs in the annex, which I declined. We were then seated at the bar where we ordered two margaritas which were horrid. After a half hour wait at the bar, we succeeded in getting a table in the center of the restaurant but fortunately not in that center non visual area. As for dinner, the appetizers were good but a steak was of poor quality which surprised me since I ordered steak here before and it was good. When we finished dinner it was an immense struggle to get a waiter for the dessert menu. Following dessert, it was a similar struggle to get the bill. After this experience, when I looked at the headline on this post, “X20.not bad.…”, I was Inclined to say, remove the not. From my perspective, there is no point spending the amount of money that is usual for X20 with the attitude, service, bar quality and main course quality that this restaurant displayed that night. Despite the few successes I have had here in the past, after the bar, the entre and service struggle, I cannot return. With all the good posts, I would be inclined to say by all means go. But if you run up against the kind of service that was displayed that night and some marginal food and drink selections, don’t be surprised. You too will not return.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Sonnyno

      You should have gone upstairs. The view is amazing frm all sides, even the one down to the main room below. That being said, I prefer everything else about Restaurant X to H2O.

      1. re: wincountrygirl

        If X20 were not in Yonkers, it would be a weekly place for me. The place is very impressive. The view, the service, and the food were excellent both times I visited.

      2. re: Sonnyno

        I will be dining there this weekend for the first time. Any "must have" or "avoid" dishes?

        1. re: enyc1071

          For me, a "must have" every time is the short rib and foie gras ravioli appetizer. We have dined there several times, and never had other than a fabulous dinner in a beautiful setting--hope you enjoy.

          1. re: enyc1071

            I had the Berkshire Black Hog & won't hesitate to order it again.


          2. re: Sonnyno

            "I have read so many good posts about X20 here on Chowhound and I have been to
            X20 a few times where I had delicious dinners with good service."

            I preface this by saying I'm an X20 fan so perhaps biased. I'm wondering though Sonny why after having several good experiences as you note above, you have dismissed the restaurant forever based on one bad evening. I agree that what you describe is unacceptable but I don't see any note that you spoke to anyone in a position to rectify any of the multiple problems you had that night. You also fail to mention if it was a busy night and if you had reservations? Were they trying to accommodate you as a walk-in?

            Personally, I've been several times and have not had a bad experience there yet although my sister went with her family and a large group of in-laws and had complaints as well. They didn't enjoy it at all, reported they didn't enjoy a lot of the food and complained the dinner was too slowly paced and the servers "too attentive." I have always had excellent food and perfect service so don't know if it's a matter of different experiences, different expectations or just different tastes.

            In sum, once again stressing I am not disputing your experience that evening, I wonder if you made any attempt to resolve your issues. Did you ask to speak to a manager about anything? Did you ask the bartender to remake your margaritas? Did you tell the waiter, manager or a general manager that your steak was of poor quality -whatever that means exactly. I'm not sure. Was it not prime, not aged or not of your requested temperature or all of the above?

            If you didn't, complain that evening perhaps you should send a letter to Peter Kelly. He is very hands on and would certainly wish to be advised of a dining experience as poor as you describe above.

            1. re: laylag

              laylag - what are your favorite dishes there?

              1. re: enyc1071

                The ravioli with short ribs and foie gras are a must have for us every visit so unfortunately we don't get to sample as many of the other apps as we want. Spaghetti Chitarra and the sea scallops are also top of the list off the regular menu.

                We've really like the Halibut, the Lamb and the Berkshire Black Hog. Often order extra sides and the risotto and roasted cauliflower are faves. The spaetzle which I usually love was a bit dried out one time so haven't ordered again. We have ordered special apps and entrees too but my memory on those things is poor - unless I have to recall for a reason, I don't often remember the specifics of dishes only if I liked or didn't.

                Want very much to try the Cowboy Ribeye but if just my husband and I that would mean we only get to eat one entree - not two - we almost always share.

                1. re: laylag

                  The (Iron Chef Winner) ribeye is great--it's for two, but, literally is enough for 4! It comes with good creamed spinach and buttery potatoes also. Peter Kelly has a special dinner at Restaurant X this Sunday which features the ribeye, 2 salads, 2 desserts and 2 glasses of vino for $75! Excerpt from the email ad:
                  Sunday Cowboy Rib-Eye Dinner for Two
                  at Restaurant X
                  Served in Three Courses

                  Two Classic Caesar Salads

                  Grilled Cowboy Rib-Eye for Two
                  40oz of Aged Beef with a Cayenne & Brown Sugar Crust
                  [this is the steak that slayed Bobby Flay]

                  Creamed Spinach

                  Potato Gratin
                  Sauce Bearnaise

                  Two Classic Crème Brûlée
                  Two Glasses of one of the Hudson Valley's Most Heralded Wines,
                  Millbrook Vineyards' Pinot Noir in an exclusive Xaviar's bottling.

                  This 3 Course Cowboy Rib-Eye dinner for two is $75.00
                  (not including tax and gratuity)

                  Please call for reservations: (845) 268-6555
                  Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar
                  117 North Route 303, Congers, NY 10920
                  This dinner will be available Sunday Evening at Restaurant X only.

              2. re: laylag

                It’s nice to see all the current defense of X20 and Laylag, you have some interesting points. I will follow up a bit. I want to emphasize that the focus in my review above was to relate the following: X20 is popular, I have had good experiences there and I urged others to go but with a caveat to not be surprised at a poor experience.

                If you read other Chowhound posts, as well as the posts on two other familiar diner review services, experiences like this are getting reported. I must admit that an astute diner must read through them with a filter to weed out posts with misplaced enthusiasm and those that are from unrealistically disgruntled patrons. But the fact is, they are there and they go along with my experience. A number of factors entered into my decision not to return and much of it is personal, which may or may not be important to any of you.

                Did I have a complaint with the seating? Not really. To get an acceptable table on a Saturday evening I don’t bemoan a bit of bar time. Was it busy? Yes. Did we have reservations? Yes. Did I complain to the bartender and manager or will I write to Peter Kelly? No. And that is also a personal decision that needs no explanation. As for the food, the steak was tough in comparison to previous steaks. There was nothing wrong with the way the bartender assembled the Margarita but it was made with a standard non appealing type mix that one finds at a number of non Mexican restaurants. Service, as mentioned, was a struggle from having to track down a waiter to get another roll, having to get the area Captain to get dessert and then later trying to flag somebody down for the check. All of this came together as a package that provided a not too memorable evening which was in sharp contrast to previous experiences. That should not have occurred at a restaurant of this quality.

                Now, Laylag, you ask, is it fair to dismiss the restaurant forever based on one bad evening? Ordinarily I would say no. However, I questioned whether there was some dumbing down in quality from past dining. I noticed the costly but excellent rack of lamb had not been offered for some time and the quality of meat in the steak was decidedly different from two previous orders. Let’s just say that one bad evening in comparison to previous good experiences was of such a magnitude and the sense that the restaurant was slipping in service and quality provided enough incentive to consider that it was not worth a trip to Yonkers anymore from the eastern part of the County.

                Should I say, forever; not go forever? Well, maybe not. That’s up to future posters. If this place is slipping we will read more about it. If not the, the disappointments will diminish, and posters will exude an enthusiasm which I will be able to recognize. For now, I am just going to wait.

                1. re: Sonnyno

                  I like X2O. I think it is a lovely occasion place and I have always enjoyed their attentive service. But I will agree with Sonnyno that in the past few times I have been there, there has been some dumbing down in quality. Most notable was our brunch last Sunday, after which my husband and I both remarked that the food and service had slipped considerably. Instead of being served throughout the meal as they have been in the past, the pass-arounds were all slapped on our plates at once. We were never offered coffee, and it took quite a while to catch someone's eye for the check. And the food, while fine, was just a notch lower in quality than usual.

                  I will confess that while I always found the food at X2O good, I have not found it rave-worthy as other posters here have. I prefer the food at Peter Kelly's other restaurants, but enjoy X2O for the atmosphere and the overall dining experience. But I did wonder whether our recent experience was an aberration or the beginning of a downward trend. I guess time will tell.

                  1. re: Shawn

                    I have hestitated to post, but the last time I went to X20 (in mid july) I was disappointed. It's always been one of my favorite restaurants, but I had the skate special and really thought I could have done much better myself-- it was kind of dry-- a real disappointment. I was at Xavier's in Piermont in May and that was a *far* better experience. FWIW this past time at X20 was the first time I've been there that we did NOT see Peter Kelly in the dining room.

                    I also had the short rib ravioli and perhaps it's just not my thing; I really didn't like the flavor. I know everyone else raves about it.

            2. I've been to X2O probably about 6 times, and the only times I was not 100% satisfied were a) at brunch, and b) during Restaurant Week. I found the atmosphere at brunch to be a little too frenetic. During RW, I felt rushed and was not crazy about anything I tried. I probably would not return for either. Every other time I've been there, I have enjoyed the sum of the experience so, so much. Would I consider the food the best of the best if it were not served in such a beautiful setting? I guess that's debatable.

              On a side note, I have never had a problem getting a table that I want. They have heeded every request I've noted in my Open Table or phone reservations, from anniversary treats to window seats to which level I prefer.

              71 Water Grant Street, Yonkers, NY 10701

              1 Reply
              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Yes, I find that putting a seating request in the OT reservation works well.

              2. Peter Kelly's mushroom ravioli are great. They have it as part of the Sunday brunch, I usually try to get a plate full :-).

                1. We just returned from a Valentine's Dinner at X20 - $75.00 per person. It was absolutely outstanding - I had the coconut shrimp to start followed by short ribs which were fall-apart -yet still having substance- tender and oh-so-flavorful, served with roasted cauliflower and silky mashed parsnips. Dessert and a glass of prosecco! Service was superb - nothing was overlooked - and nothing at all was lacking. DH had spaghetti with crabmeat and chateaubriand served with silky mashed potatoes and haricot verts that were so deliciously crispy! I had been skeptical as I had previously read not such great reviews on CH - but have loved all Peter Kelly's other restaurants. This was truly a memorable dining experience. One to be thankful to enjoy! also great drinks at the bar prior!