LXi signage reads: wine bar, but it is much more than that. As my dining companion said, it is a slick, clean and snazzy place. LXi's entrance is somewhat inconspicuous between Starbuck's and D'Novo at KingsPointe Village near 61st and Yale (the restaurant is named after the Roman numeral 61).
Entering through the first door, the customer is still outside but in the restaurant's courtyard. A second door opens into a dining area characterized by an unusually chic atmosphere.
The dining room is sectioned off from the lounge area, outfitted with contemporary sofas, chairs and tables. Gossamer curtains serve as dividers, allowing for some privacy among customers. A few niches along the walls also afford diners a secluded area for more intimacy. There is also a small bar area better suited for casual encounters.
We found the service to be some of the best we've had, with attention given to details. We were welcomed, seated and served with utmost professionalism.
Our server explained the menu to us, knowing this was our first time to LXi. The tasting menus from Spain, California and Latin America come highly recommended and, for an additional $16, each one comes with regional wine pairings, a sampling of four wines, perfectly matched to enhance each course. Small plates, flatbreads from the wood burning oven, cheeses and sweets complete the menu.
To begin, I ordered a Lavender Lemon Drop from the Signature Cocktails menu. This refreshing drink is made of Absolut Citron, Lavender syrup and fresh lemon. Served in an oval-shaped, no-stem glass with a lavender-sugared rim, this cocktail piqued my senses for the meal to come. My friend ordered a Single Malt Scotch--the Ardbeg-Islay ($8.50) which has an earthy "peat" taste. Smokiness is quickly detected then disappears, leaving a light, lingering taste of cocoa.
We reviewed the small plates, which offered delicious dishes as Shrimp Culiacan, marinated shrimp wrapped in bacon topped with pepper jack cheese and roasted garlic aioli; Grilled Rosemary Baby Lamb Chops served with artichoke, golden raisins and arugula; Dungeness Crab Cake with ginger slaw and red pepper remoulade; Seared Scallops over Sweet Corn Cakes with orange maple butter and pancetta cracklings; and Smoked Lava Rock Seared Muscovy Duck Breast with figs, oranges and fried leeks.
As delicious as these sounded, the tasting menu won us over not only with the gourmet four-course meal, but also with the accompanying wine selections. We were able to experience cuisine from Spain ($37, plus $16 for wine pairings with each course) and Latin America ($34, also an additional $16 for wine pairings with each course).
My friend's first course from Spain began with Cava Steamed Mussels, chorizo, bell peppers and parsley. I started with Shrimp Culiacan. Both were excellent starters and boasted a complementary blend of flavorful ingredients.
The mussels were large and tender while the shrimp was light and crisp. The wine pairings were surprisingly soft and sweet.
The second course from Spain was a Manchego (cheese made from sheep's milk) and Leek Torte, served with crisp greens topped with aged sherry and Serrano-wrapped figs. The torte was light and again, had a delicious, potent flavor; the figs were a nice, mellow accent. I had the Adobo Rubbed Sea Bass served atop avocado cream and garnished with mango salsa. The Bass was tender and flaky with a mild taste.
The third course for my friend included Prime Strip Steak, shoestring potatoes and cabrales cream; I had Ancho Relleno with spiced chicken and dried apricots with a carrot sauce. Both dishes were exquisite! The steak perfectly prepared rare, as requested, and the chicken was boldly spiced.
Our final course included Fresh Mixed Berries with cream and mint for my friend; my dessert was Crème Fraiche Flan with pepita crust.
The wines (a three-ounce glass with the Flight dinners) with all the dishes were taken from LXi's extensive, carefully prepared wine list of more than 50 labels, all by the bottle or by the glass.
Our server took very good care of us throughout the evening. He knew when to come and when to serve, all in a respectful and attentive way.
LXi is a step above other establishments; it's a perfect place for a leisurely dinner or a place to gather with friends and enjoy the evening over a light meal--such as Flatbread with Prime Aged Beef, Gorgonzola and Roasted Tomato or a Flatbread of Grilled Chicken Sausage, Prosciutto and Buffalo Mozzarella; even sharing a Cheese Plate or Prime Tenderloin Sliders.
5982 S. Yale
Share this article: