7-8-05 XO Bistro
Hmmm... this place is retarded.
I used to walk past the XO Bistro all the time on my way home from the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, where I'd have some beers with my good friend Mr. C, play a couple rounds of Golden Tee, and inevitably see the scruffy asshole from Soundgarden. I even remember walking past the now legendary Cassis and ogling the menu, though I never went inside, because I'm such a jackass (back then I was a poor jackass). Then Cassis closed, and the XO Bistro appeared in its place. Sigh. A missed opportunity I'll never have back.
We went to XO because I'd been walking up 10th Avenue after a long absence from the Roanoke. On a whim, (correction: a drunken whim), I called XO and got reservations for the next day.
Well, gentle fuckface, XO let me down. First of all was the waiter, who looked like he was secretly a carpenter. He was weird. He talked too quietly for me to hear him, especially since there was a table with screaming kids near us. His hands were dirty, cut, and bruised, which is what made me think he was some kind of manual laborer during the day. He was also dirty. You could see the cloud of dust swirling around him as he walked. Motherfucker looked like Pigpen from the Peanuts comics. Worst of all was his timing. Whenever I needed him, he was nowhere to be seen. He'd bring the food to the table, then disappear until the next course came out. I understand that service slows down when it gets busy, but the place wasn't crowded. That said, the dude was polite, even though he was fucking filthy.
We started with a side of pommes frites ($4), more commonly known to those of us who drink Busch beer as French fries. Thank god the whole “Freedom Fries” thing went down the toilet finally. If you're one of those Lee Greenwood listening, Wal-Mart shopping fucks with a flag sticker on your SUV, who calls yourself a patriot yet nonetheless doesn't know what the Monroe Doctrine is, you should know that shortly after your mother finished Freedom Kissing my asshole, I put on a Freedom Tickler and threw a classic fucking on her that would've made the original smutty Frenchman, the Marquis de Sade, proud. It was extra nasty because I made her complain about gas prices as she was coming.
The frites were pretty good, though naturally not as good as the ones they fry in duck fat at Campagne. Still, it's difficult to fuck up French fries. Even McDonald's can make them taste good, and they aren't competent enough to keep from insulting Hindus. And those Hindus can take a lot of abuse! They withstand dysentery, cholera, the plague, floods, the inevitable deadly stampede that always seems to occur during their holidays, and the inundation of a nonstop stream of jobs that once belonged to American college students and welfare mothers. When those motherfuckers die, they die 100,000 at a time, and they still pump out babies as if fucking was going to be outlawed tomorrow. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, pommes frites.
Next was an ahi tuna carpaccio. The tuna was ground up into a paste, smeared on the plate, and garnished with olive oil, pepper, and capers. I didn't like it because it had a sandy texture that was a turnoff, and despite the pepper and capers was rather bland. And at $10, it was, in my opinion, a goddamn ripoff. A waste of sashimi grade ahi tuna. I weep, weep at the thought!
After the carpaccio was the tarte flambee ($11.50), a thin crust pizza topped with gruyere, crème fraiche, onions, and bacon. Finally something that really kicked ass. I could've eaten 100 of them. The crust was flaky and light, and the creamy tartness of the crème fraiche contrasted nicely with the salty bacon and cheese. XO should remove all the other junk off their menu and just serve this. Delightful!
My entree was the lamb sirloin. The lamb itself was tender and juicy, but not really seasoned very well. It was served over a mushy, flavorless ratatouille comprised of bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. There were also some kind of roasted potatoes with it, and everything came with a very intense thyme sauce (too intense- it overwhelmed the rest of the flavors). I ate all of the lamb, but almost none of the rataouille. Lame. Not worth the $19 it set me back. Do I need to make another lame joke about what I could have bought with the money I instead spent on the lamb sirloin? Okay, here goes. For $19 I could get 19 blowjobs from your mother. Are you happy now? Sigh. I'm just a hack. I wish I had gone to that medical school in Grenada after all. Why, god, why? Why is my life without meaning?
We ended the night with a pretty good crème brulee and espresso, followed by a flight of different dessert wines. The dessert flight was the surprise hit of the evening. For $20 we got 6 tastes of different ports and sherries. Definitely reccomended.
To sum it up: though certainly affordable, XO Bistro is too lame to bother with shitloads of courses. Their wine list is cheap and there are some good choices available. Your best bet is to sit in the bar, get a bottle of the L'ecole 41 Merlot, and order the tarte flambee and some frites. Then go across the street to the Roanoke and play Golden Tee. Be sure to name your Golden Tee guy (you know, the little golf playing character who looks like the ass baby of Will Ferrell and George W. Bush) “ASS.” That one gets me every time. I'm so mature.