Pastry chef Magdalena Bagi and chef/owner Matthew Walheim next to the display case showcasing Xylo’s pastries. Photos by Ross Boissoneau.offers gourmet & deli surprises
Outdoor patrons enjoy an al fresco lunch at Xylo.
It’s not often that death immediately confronts you when you enter a restaurant.
But there it is, in the dessert case just inside the door at Xylo Bistro/Cafe: Brownies to Die For.
Not that they’re really lethal or anything.
But the huge, rich, flourless brownie (“It’s more like fudge!” excitedly says waitress Jackie Kohl) is ample evidence of Xylo’s commitment to creating interesting foodstuffs that are a little off the beaten path.
That only makes sense for a restaurant tucked into the backside of a building in the warehouse district. “We’re kind of hard to find,” admitted owner/chef Matthew Walheim.
But if Xylo isn’t necessarily easy to find, it’s worth the effort. Walheim has created an eclectic menu, with such items as Tilapia Tosca, Green Curry Chicken, whitefish pate, and grilled focaccia pizza in a variety of flavors.
If some of the items on the menu seem familiar, then you must have ventured to Suttons Bay to the Silvertree Deli. Walheim was the chef at the Silvertree until it closed in December 2010. Now many of the favorite items from that menu have been reborn, such as the Covered Wagon, a chocolate pastry in the shape of, well, a covered wagon. Other pastries include flan and carrot cake, there’s a host of cookies, and don’t forget those brownies.
“Maggie (pastry chef Magdelena Bagi) does a great job,” said Walheim In addition to the pastries, Xylo offers a variety of salads, lunch plates, starters & sides, sandwiches and subs. Most of them are available for carryout, a tradition which developed from Silvertree and was furthered by Xylo’s relationship with Right Brain Brewery next door, which doesn’t serve food but allows patrons to bring their own foodstuffs.
Walheim says there are a number of unique items on the menu. “We do calamari a little differently than most people,” he said proudly, noting the squid is cut into strips and served with a Citrus Buerre Blanc.
Another popular item is the Chicken Paprikash. In fact, Walheim says it’s his personal favorite. “It’s one dish I just never get tired of,” he said of the chicken simmered with peppers and onions, and served over homemade dumplings in a sour cream sauce.
The interior of the restaurant is just as interesting and eclectic as the menu. Bright sage and orange walls complement the dark brown tables and metal chairs. Open rafters, hanging lights, and a small stage complete the warm, friendly, and engaging interior.
And this is just the start. Walheim is hoping to get a liquor license to enable him to serve beer and wine at least. “People like to have a glass of wine with dinner,” Walheim said.
And the new dinner menu is currently in development. Walheim hopes to introduce it within a week or so.
In the meantime, patrons can enjoy the subs, burgers, and ethnic fare, along with the complete coffee bar.
Xylo is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
weekdays and until 10 Friday and Saturday. Sundays it is open from 11 to 4. Located at 221 Garland St. Suite D in TC’s Warehouse District, next to Right Brain Brewery. Its Facebook page is xylo-bistro-cafe. Call 421-9200.