A long time friend suggested we try a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week dinner, and I eagerly perused the very long list of menus. Historically, I think any restaurant week can be hit or miss, and reading the menus is the key factor in whether the experience will be something that will inspire you to return to a restaurant, or an experience where it’s obvious the kitchen isn’t even trying.
I narrowed it down to a few restaurants, and we eventually decided on Xaviers X20 on the Hudson. There menu didn’t repeat all of its ingredients in every dish (i.e. shrimp salad, shrimp pasta or beet salad, chicken and beets) which to me always comes off like the restaurant is trying as little as possible. [Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s a strong bias that I use as a helpful guideline for restaurant week]
To start, I hit a butt ton of traffic coming from the Bronx to Yonkers. Thankfully, they offer valet parking right at the front entrance of the restaurant since I was hungry, and late for meeting my friend. [Valet was $3 with validation from the restaurant]
The restaurant itself was really beautiful, all glass and right on the water. Though it was nighttime and there wasn’t much of a view, there was still a very impressive feeling to the space. The service was equally as impressive, although they could have used a few less people. I’ve never seen quite so many people working in one space; there was a man who took our drink order, another man who brought bread, another man that brought the food, another man who cleared the plates. A lot going on, and it was sort of interesting to see an all male waitstaff, I’m curious if this was an intentional choice.
I wanted to treat myself to a cocktail after a day of work and traffic, and the Valley Cider Martini [Viskill Vodka, Warwick Cassis & Hudson Valley Apple Cider] was perfect. It was full on cider, with an adult kick on the finish. And I loved that they put it in this refined glass instead of the typical, wide martini glass. This one felt special, but maybe I’m just a total weirdo.
First course, I chose the Green Onion and Black Truffle Risotto. So good, this was definitely my favorite course. It was all cheesy, smooth, rich goodness. I know sometimes in an upscale restaurant, or during restaurant week (or both in this case), the portions can be on the stingy side sometimes; honestly this was just enough that I wanted to lick the bowl but didn’t feel like I needed a nap somewhere in a dark corner.
I did think that little paper doily was a very strange touch in such a modern restaurant. As I look back over the picture, I’m wondering what the thought behind that one was.
Main course, I chose the Catskill Mountains Brook Trout with Garlic and Lemon Crumbs, served with root vegetables & portobello hash, watercress & Ronny Brook Sauce. It had a great flavor, and I loved the crunchy “crumb” topping. Honestly, I would have preferred less fish and more veggie. There was a few cubes under the mountain of fish, and it would have been a better textural and flavor contrast.
This pretty little dish was the Pumpkin Pannacotta [ Spiced Cake Vanilla Syrup & Amaretti Cookie] Yum. It was the perfect few spice/sweet bites to end the meal.
Satisfying dinner, and it genuinely made me want to go back and see what the regular menu has to offer. The restaurant is known for being pricey, but now that I’ve seen the level of food and service, I think it could be worth it for a date night splurge or special event.