Five Things: XO Cafe, Providence
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
One. I’ll Have Another.
The cocktails at XO are always a sure thing. A rotating menu that is half interested in trends and half in being a rebel ensures that there is always something new to try (and that something new is usually quite interesting). I couldn’t resist the Fennel Sour. The bar infused vodka with aromatic fennel before mixing with fresh citrus, bitters and egg whites. The heavily anise-flavored drink was a perfect pre-dinner cocktail. A strong punch of bitters was nicely balanced by the creamy egg whites.
Two. Avocado Ice Cream.
For the diner who just can’t decide… XO has you covered. Chef Keating prepares a (Japanese inspired) Bento Box that will give you a fix of all things fried. Some favorites included an impossibly tender beef teriyaki, tempura fried portabella with a soy-sake glaze and a crispy calamari with a smoky chipotle mayonnaise. This bento has made the rounds through Chow Fun menus since its inception in 1986, and I am glad to report that the old-timer has not yet gotten old.
Four. Peas & Tenderloins.
Five. Oh, a Crisp!
A crisp to me is a perfect summer dessert. An excuse to simply toss together whatever is in season and enjoy the sweet bounty. So when I saw a rhubarb (read: my favorite) polenta crisp on the menu I needed to try it. I knew I would enjoy this one, but I was very excited to try this classic dessert with polenta doing the job of crisping. Amazing! I can’t believe I’ve never tried this before. The polenta masterfully took on the flavors of the tart and sweet rhubarb while simultaneously being a crispy element of substance, flavorful in its own right and worthy of widespread use.
Would I go back? Yes. XO is always a crowd pleaser and a personal standby.
Hit “Save”: XO Café,125 North Main Street, Providence, 401-273-9090.
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