XO: A Love Affair
By The Foodies./ firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Kitton, the owner of XO Restaurant, Wine and Chocolate
Lounge on Wall Street, tell us his culinary goal is to make
a big impression.
We like to take traditional dishes and put a twist on
it, he said. Do something different that people
havent seen before and get the wow factor
At every turn, Kitton, who, at age 25 has been involved in
nearly every aspect of the restaurant business, and executive
chef Christopher Lano impressed us with their innovative New
American cuisine, an eye for freshness and a sense of adventure
that reaps big rewards.
XO is a leap-year baby, having opened the doors
of its new home on Feb. 29. After rebounding from a fire that
knocked them out of their former Clinton Street address, XO
moved into the former Osteria Toscana on Wall Street. The
split-level space allows XO to maintain a warm, jazzy dining
room accented by brick and wooden finish on the first floor
and a sultry, dimmed and candle-lit lounge with couches and
cocktail tables in hues of chocolate brown and red.
We started our meal with a sumptuous spread of appetizers.
Moist Jumbo Lump Crab Cake ($14), served atop a red pepper
fennel slaw and red chili crab sauce, beautifully complements
the milder crab cake and brings out the best in both. Crisp
Pulled Pork Dumplings ($10) are a satisfying fusion of Asian
and Southern staples with tangy barbecue glaze and Asian slaw.
If youre a tuna lover, keep an eye out for super-fresh
trio of tuna topped with black truffle peelings; Fire
and Ice, with seared, peppered tuna with blood orange
sorbet; and tuna tartare topped with red caviar.
If you like cocktails, youve come to the right place.
Kitton says their Chocolate Espresso Martini ($12) is one
of the most popular, and for good reason the smooth
and sweet yet potent concoction will satisfy coffee and chocolate
fanatics alike. One of the ladies in our group said her go-to
cocktail is a Pomegranate Martini, and she said XOs,
a simple libation of Absolut Citron, pomegranate liqueur and
lemon juice, was one of the best shes ever had.
After our first round, a surprise plate a special sampler
of Red Chile Shrimp served atop a dollop of rich sour cream,
paired with cold Pineapple Crab and Jalapeno soup illustrates
XOs willingness to take chances and think outside the
box. Keep an eye out for the Thai-inspired shrimp and snap
it up when you can, because its spectacular. The beguiling
soup marries flavors and big chunks of tender crab in ways
that never crossed our minds.
The entrees kept the wow moments coming. Tender
Grilled Skirt Steak ($24) in a savory coffee barbecue sauce
is served atop rich mashed potatoes and garnished with sweet
and crunchy Portobello fries. Juicy Chilean Sea Bass ($30)
is paired with satisfying sweet-pea risotto with big chunks
of lobster. Sesame-Crusted Big Eye Tuna ($32), with roasted
fennel and a Wasabi Orange Aioli, was another big hit at our
The big finish, however, comes in a pot with a Lazy Susan
at the base. Fondue is a major staple of the dessert menu.
Perfect for sharing with friends, its something we highly
recommend. The Smores version ($21) is warm, chocolaty
Needless to say, were already planning a return visit.
Kitton told us the Pan-Seared Duck ($26), with sweet potato
mash and a chocolate cherry reduction, is another customer
favorite. The lobster, shrimp, garlic, red chile and tomato
spaghetti ($24), one of six pasta dishes on the menu, looks
like another knockout that well have to try on a return
Explore the menu with a generous $24.95 prix-fixe menu all
night Sunday-Thursday and until 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday;
or enjoy a cocktail during Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. and Ladies
Night on Thursday.
& Chocolate Lounge
69 Wall St., Huntington village
Atmosphere: Jazzy dining; cozy lounging
Cuisine: New American
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 5-11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Sunday: 4-10 p.m.