Fresh Tunes, Fresh Plates At XO This Summer

By The Foodies

foodies@longislandergroup.com

 

 Live music has become an important weekend draw to XO, said owner-chef Jason Kitton, pictured.

Live music has become an important weekend draw to XO, said owner-chef Jason Kitton, pictured.

The tunes are cool and the cuisine is hot at XO Restaurant Wine & Chocolate Lounge in Huntington village.

The music comes from weekly performers who turn a little cubbyhole space up by the window facing Wall Street into their stage. On Saturday night, diners were treated to the tunes of Badge, a first-time performer at the restaurant, and their classic-rock sound, as they drank, danced and noshed.

 Badge takes the floor at XO on Saturday night, where you could be enjoying the show and noshing on mouth-watering dishes.

Badge takes the floor at XO on Saturday night, where you could be enjoying the show and noshing on mouth-watering dishes.

In contrast to the homey first-floor dining space, the second-floor lounge is sleek, accented by multiple shades of gray and punctuated by red chairs. Sound travels readily through the space; even those sitting in the back near the bar will feel the bass.

Live music has become an important weekend draw to XO, said owner-chef Jason Kitton, who opened the restaurant Feb. 29, 2012 after a brief sojourn on Clinton Street.

As summer band season revs up, Jason is working hard in the kitchen, taking a number of chances on inventive summery fare – and succeeding.

One example is the Roasted Beet Salad ($10). A presentation of chopped beets served tuna tartare-style, topped with baby arugula, dressed in blood orange vinaigrette and crowned with a goat cheese crouton, it creates an adventurous flavor profile, an attractive medley of textures, and – let’s be real – who can resist fried goat cheese?

 Enjoy a summery starter like a Roasted Beet Salad, pictured!

Enjoy a summery starter like a Roasted Beet Salad, pictured!

An asparagus special Jason shared with us is similarly daring and delicious. Sautéed asparagus in a balsamic reduction sounds straight-forward enough, right? Then Jason breaks out the fried egg, over-easy. Yolk and glaze combines to create a sweet, salty and savory accompaniment for the perfectly prepped spears.

 Asparagus and fried egg? Yes, please!

Asparagus and fried egg? Yes, please!

And a Salmon Bruschetta special is a light summery treat for fish-lovers, topped with red onions, tomato and cubed mozzarella, paired with a nice spinach side that’s flecked with shaved peanuts and bits of garlic.

 Salmon Bruschetta is light and just right for fish lovers.

Salmon Bruschetta is light and just right for fish lovers.

For after-dinner desserts during a performance, crème brulee ($8) is a must-have, regardless of the season. Or, seal it with a triple-chocolate kiss and a tasty tri-colored mouse ($10), or a sharable array of fabulous fondues ($18-$21). Then again, who can ever go wrong with chocolate-covered strawberries?

 Tricolor mousse is a tasty way to finish at XO.

Tricolor mousse is a tasty way to finish at XO.

Entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and a complete listing of performances are available online. And for daily dining pleasure, enjoy a $24.99 prix-fixe, available ‘til 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.