Formerly: X/O will close its doors on April 22, 2007. It plans to move downtown and open a casual bar and grill in the Boystown spot.
Named for the ultra swank cognac designation "extra old," X/O is a restaurant/lounge that serves small plates in a big way.
Executive chef Aaron Bischoff has built a menu that's designed to be shared; three plates here is the rough equivalent of a two-course meal elsewhere. To help you decide, the menu is divided into sections, moving from lighter to heavier fare. Of course, some of the dishes are so yummy you may be loathe to split with friends, as was the case with the East and West Coast oysters served on the half shell with cucumber sorbet and horseradish tomato sorbet. Likewise, the seared sea scallops with sage hazelnut brown butter and homemade pumpkin dumplings had us defending our plate with a fork.
Desserts are creative and decadent (think cheesecake ravioli brulee with blueberry soup and homemade creme fraiche ice cream) though many opt for a sippable nightcap instead. Six wine flights boast names like Sleek and Structured (red wines) and Voluptuous and Flamboyant (white wines) or, in a nod to the restaurant's name, you can pony up for a flight of premium cognacs.
Brunch at X/O is as decked-out and sexy as dinner, with a rotating prix-fixe menu and unlimited screwdrivers, bloody marys, mimosas and champagne. For dinner, plates average $8-$23, while brunch is $29.95 ($19.95 without alcohol).
The take-your-pick menu finds its twin in the restaurant's multi-room interior, which houses traditional tables, ostrich skin-upholstered settees and floor-to-ceiling booth backs, bolstered by a roomy fair-weather patio for quiet outdoor dining. Add to the mix posh details like prairie grass pressed into panes of glass, delicate wood detailing and backlit fabric-lined walls and you've got decor worthy of the house fave, Krug champagne.
Reviewed By: Kate Rockwood