XIX is the highest restaurant in
Besides the elevation factor, XIX’s other drawing points are its panoramic views of the city, and a swanky interior. All of this makes for a classic date spot or an “impress the boss” spot. Two grand rotunda’s with 36-foot high domes, one serving as the café area and the other serving as the restaurant area, are connected by a room in which the bar is located.
The circular café area serves breakfast and a more affordable light fare for lunch and into the late night, but does not look like your typical café. I would still be impressed if taken on a date to dine at the café.
Walk down the hall past an open dessert kitchen, and you’ll find the bar. The bar is dark and luxurious, with a marble fireplace, brown leather sitting nooks, high backed chairs, and sofas. I felt as if I were in a mansion as I sipped my sweet raspberry mojito, and my partner enjoyed his gin before dinner.
Walk down the hall a little further past a wine tasting room surrounded by illuminated display cases, and the grand dining room opens up before you. The room is surrounded by huge, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the city. In the center is a circular raw bar with a nineteen-foot wide “pearl necklace” chandelier draped above.
XIX serves contemporary American food with emphasis on fish. Since I was dining as part of a package, I chose from a prix fixe menu. I was impressed (delighted) to see that the prix fixe menu included a vegetarian starter and appetizer. There are so many great package deals at restaurants (especially during restaurant week), but the menus almost never include vegetarian options. Restaurants should change that. If you lure me in to a restaurant that I normally would not eat at (the whole point of restaurant week), I’m more likely to return. Vegetarians spend money, too.
For a starter, I chose a baby beet salad with local goat cheese, arugula and croûtons. The crunchy croûtons provided a great texture contrast with the tender beets. My partner chose the Creaser salad, as he was in the mood for greens.
For the main course, we both chose the roasted blue hubbard squash ravioli with truffled celeriac puree, parsley pesto, pine nuts, and aged gruyere. Absolutely delicious. I find squash ravioli and the accompanying sauces at many place can be too sweet and taste a bit like dessert, but this dish was perfect.
For dessert, we both ordered the chocolate layer cake with mandarin sauce, candied orange compote, and chocolate ice cream. The cake was exquisite. Unfortunately, we were running late for the ballet because we partook in pre-dinner drinks at the bar, so had to rush through dessert. I would have preferred to linger over dessert, but, instead, shoveled all of my cake and ice cream, plus my partner’s half-eaten cake, into my mouth and ran off to the show.