* Click here for rating key
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED XO Steakhouse Restaurant Review: THIS ESTABLISHMENT HAS CHANGED NAMES Both the menu and décor at John Elkhay's XO Steakhouse have been toned down since its former life as XO Café---to mostly positive effect. The white linen-topped tables contrast with muted curtains that adorn a pair of rooms lit by candlelight and soft red neon. The menu is just slightly playful, reminding diners "Life is Short: Order Dessert First." (A sampling of three crème brûlées is a pleasing if not exceptional holdover from its XO Café days.) Kick things off with a stiff cocktail such as the prickly pear margarita, which provides an authentic taste of the Southwest. The parade of food begins with the Kitchen Sink Salad in which marinated hearts of palm provide a sharp contrast to the mild mixed greens, feta, tomato and cucumber. The prosciutto-wrapped salmon may arrive a bit dry but is rescued by the accompanying crawfish and fava bean succotash, with subtle undertones of cumin. The dish comes with gummy and largely flavorless sweet potato gnocchi, but a side of haricots verts is redemptive, crisp and nicely complemented by a maple glaze and Marcona almonds. The signature XO filet, flavored by a garlic rub and with a topping of thin, crispy slices of seared scallops, is the menu's nearest stab at surf ‘n’ turf.