X20 Xaviar's on the Hudson, Yonkers, NY

Had dinner with another mid-30s/mid-40s couple at X20 on Friday so I thought I’d share our impressions! We had a 7:30 reservation and the place was only about half full. Upon entering, my friend immediately remarked “we are the youngest people in this place by 20 years, easily.” He and his husband hadn’t been to Westchester before and do a lot of dining out in Manhattan, so I had to remind him to revise his expectations, LOL!

Anyway, the dining room has a lot of potential but IMO the decor is a major fail - just feels very 90s. There were a lot of bulbs out in the light fixtures and smudges on the walls, etc. - it’s badly in need of maintenance and an update. It was after sundown, so the view was lost on us, and in the future I would only go when I could enjoy the view and/or eat outside. Service was polite but VERY unpolished. We were filling our own wine glasses, had to ask for repeat bread service, etc. Manhattan this is not.

However, the food itself was very good, no complaints there at all. Among the four of us, we had the pate grandmere, butternut squash bisque and parma ham apps, plus the sweetbreads, short ribs, duck and a lamb special for entrees. Everything was very competently cooked and delicious, although nothing mindblowingly creative. For instance, my sweetbreads were nicely tender and well-seasoned, but the plate was simply sauteed sweetbreads in brown sauce with a small pile of sauteed spinach, a small pile of warmed figs and a small pile of sauteed hen of the woods mushrooms. The lamb special was a seared loin (perfectly medium rare) in a 5-spice rub with spatzle in cream sauce - again, very good, but nothing that would wow anyone. The menu was worded in a way that I felt over-promised on what was actually delivered as well, making things sound more interesting than they actually turned out to be.

The desserts we tried (banana bread pudding and carrot cake) were lackluster and presumably outsourced. While the prices are not jaw-dropping for someone accustomed to dining in Manhattan entrees in the mid $30 range), there are probably 500 restaurants in Manhattan that deliver much more interesting food at this price point. I’m glad we tried it once, but in the future I think we’ll continue to dine in Manhattan for special occasions and look for more casual options in Westchester.

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Sorry to hear this, especially since Peter left two of his Flagship restaurants. When we went to X20 years ago I felt that way about the decor. I love his place in Congers NY, Restaurant X. Much more intimate, stellar service and a lovely setting.

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Thanks for your report, biondanonima. Curious though, what do you mean by ‘revise your expectations’? Because of the age group in the dining room? Also, are all restaurants in Manhattan that good?

In this case, my friend had seen the website and photos that IMO make the place look a lot more hip than it actually is. I think he was expecting a swankier vibe and more of a party atmosphere. An older clientele doesn’t necessarily preclude that, of course, but in this case it did signal a more sedate experience overall.

Also, no, not all restaurants in Manhattan are that good! It’s just as easy to spend $30 an entree on terrible food and service as on great food and service in the city, if you don’t do your homework beforehand.

I think your expectations were wrong. The Dylan Lounge (take a right when in the host area) is probably more “hip” than the main dining room. You mentioned returning when you could eat outside. X2O does not have outdoor dining, so I’m not sure where you would have gotten that idea. There is a balcony you can get to at the back of the dining room but there is no seating there.

As for the view, I find the nighttime view very nice if you’re facing south, since you can see the lights of Manhattan. I can understand the northbound view not being very exciting at night.

The light bulb issue is not a new one. I had noticed that on an earlier visit after reading about it in Opentable reviews, but it seemed to be fixed on a subsequent visit. Sorry to hear it’s back again. I guess it’s not easy replacing bulbs, and with that high a ceiling they probably need to get special equipment in to replace them. Still, that’s no excuse. And I do agree that the service is not as good as it has been in the past. Fortunately, the food is still really good.

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Yes, I think my friend’s expectations (and mine, to an extent) were definitely off. As for the outdoor dining, I thought they had a porch/patio area on the river side - I must have been thinking of somewhere else.

When we went, that was our view and it was beautiful.

There is a new X2O Groupon available (valid thru 2/19) and 25% off coupon that is valid today and tomorrow – code FAMILY. The offer for 2 valid any day is $89 and comes down to $66.25 with the coupon. If you want the Sunday-Thursday version it’s a few dollars cheaper.

Note that most of the weekends in December are blacked out because they do their holiday show, as is the weekend before Valentine’s Day. I made a reservation for a Saturday night in January. Hopefully it won’t snow!

It’s a “smoking” balcony. We were seated close to it, and when the door opened our table was greeted with a cold breeze tinted with cigarette smoke. Not pleasant for our party of 9.

I wish there was an opposite of he like button. I don’t think a restaurant should allow smoking in an area that can impact diners. We used to like to eat on the patio at Baccio in Cross River BUT - when people waiting for tables waited outside many smoked. Awful.

Thanks for the tip, X20 groupons are the best deal!

I did not know that they allowed smoking out there. I’ve been out there a couple of times and never noticed anyone smoking. I wonder if they have ash trays there? If they do, then the restaurant is wrong. If they don’t, then people who think they can smoke out there are wrong. The balcony is supposed to be so people can go out and get an unobstructed view of the Hudson.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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