125 North Main St., Providence | 401-273-9090
Business Hours: Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 5pm-11pm. Brunch: Sunday, 11am-2:30pm. Bar: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-1am; Friday-Saturday, 5pm-2am (with late night menu served 11pm-1am). | Meals Served: Brunch, Dinner | Cusine: New American and bistro fare | Atmosphere: Romantic | Price Range: $$ | Alcohol: Full bar | Outdoor Seating: No | Reservations: Yes | Kid Friendly: No | Parking: Valet, street | Credit Cards Accepted: Yes | Delivery: No
XO Cafe creates a sexy and seductive atmosphere outmatched only by the playfully composed dishes inspired by the finest natural and local ingredients and the highest level of service. This cozy, romantic restaurant is housed in the historic 1799 John Updike house at the base of Providence' College Hill. The historic setting is matched by a modern culinary experience perfect for a romantic night out, a family gathering, or a happy hour cocktail in a lively setting.
Executive Chef Marty Lyons believes in a "harvest-to-table" philosophy that highlights the bounty of the sea and seasonality of Southern New England farms. The menu balances the changing flavors and ingredients of the seasons with a devotion to techniques and quality that are timeless and unerring. The "Steakhouse Grill" features nothing but 100% certified Hereford beef, aged for a minimum of 28 days. The "Local Farm Fresh" section of the menu offers an oft-changing selection of preparations that put the spotlight on what is freshest and best from our local farms and waters – think the rich, hearty flavors of the colder months, or the lighter, produce-forward dishes of the summer. Top it all off with irressistible desserts that are made in-house and an outstanding wine list.
The bar at XO is the perfect setting for an after work drink or a nightcap paired with something from the late night menu. They offer a great selection of beer, along with a cocktail list that features both seasonal inspirations and "Nantucket Artisanal Cocktails" showcasing Triple Eight Vodkas. XO's brunch is pure indulgence, featuring egg dishes and omelets, Benedicts and sandwiches, along with half-a-dozen mimosa and bloody mary options – oh, and if you show up wearing pajamas, you get one for free. Now that's hospitality.
Can't-Miss Dish: Bento Box (pictured above): Created by XO Cafe owner John Elkhay at Inprov restaurant in 1986, and still a favorite – Lobster wontons with Thai dipping sauce, beef teriyaki with soy sake, portobello mushroom fries, and crispy calamari with chipotle mayonnaise.
Insider Tip: XO Cafe has a variety of weekly specials, including 50% off wines by the bottle on Mondays, a complimentary three-course tasting menu for ladies on Wednesdays, and a half-priced bar menu from 5-7pm on Fridays.