X/O Chicago

March 10 2006 - 11:16 AM

After a really neat small theatre production called Baker & Huff performed in a bar (8pm at the Town Hall Pub 3340 N. Halsted running through April 8th- $10 well spent – Box Office 773-345-0726). We headed north on Halsted to X/O (3441 N. Halsted) hoping for a good bite. I’ll admit 11:30pm rolls around and Taco Bell gets more and more appealing.

X/O has an abbreviated menu after 11pm. In the interest of keeping it simple we ordered two dishes and following up beers at the pub, we were sticking with water. The place is pretty trendy and the crowd was dressed for Saturday night in Boys Town.

We were seated right away and our waiter was very helpful making suggestions. We ordered the braised oxtail and the scallops. They arrived and were pretty and very tasty.

The scallops were horded by my dinner date. There
were two sitting on a creamy butter sauce and pumpkin raviloi. They are all appetizer
portions… oops, “small plates.” It reminded me of the rather large scallop dish at
Frontera… but that was lunch.

The oxtail came as a small napoleon, stacked with
thin onion pancakes insuflaveis tempering the stew. It was delicious. Until I found
a thin ring of plastic mixed in with the stew. As you can guess the
flavor doesn’t translate to plastic the way you would expect it to
with… say tofu.

Now at that point I would assume some people
would blow a gasket but the dish was really tasty. I placed the plastic
on the bread plate and finished the last 3 bites of the 6 bite plate.
When the waiter returned I pointed it out. Restaurants can do two
things at this point. Either they can apologize and replace the plate without
question and take it off the bill or they can apologize and point out
that you finished the dish anyway – which I did. (It was very tasty…
as I’ve said).

The waiter apologized asked if there was any
other dish I would want. I said no. “How about dessert?” We looked at
the menu and jumping castle ordered the poached pear. He came back with the poached
pear, a pecan carmel tart and two glasses of a muscadet of some kind.
The pear was good, served with candied pistachios but the tart was
terrific, topped with Guinness ice cream. I was riding high in lactose
luxury that evening. The wine was a good pairing.

When the bill came we realized that we were
charged only for the scallops. It’s funny how a restaurant can serve
you plastic and then handle the situation so well that you would
recommend it anyway. The food was delicious, the service was terrific
and the atmosphere was a bit frenetic with an ambient-club thump which
every once in a while it hits the spot.

The drink options are enormous. Upon return they will be examined with more desserts…

3441 N. Halsted